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Published on March 20, 2023
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther has appointed Rena Shak to lead the newly created Office of Violence Prevention. This office will align strategies and drive collaboration among neighborhood safety and violence prevention responses city-wide and further enhance overall effectiveness when it comes to reducing violent crime throughout Columbus.
“Rena’s depth of experience in public service will enable her to oversee all of the prevention and intervention programs sponsored by the city through multiple departments,” said Mayor Ginther. “I’m confident in her ability to stand up the city’s first-ever Office of Violence Prevention – which also happens to be the first of its kind in the state.”
Shak has been in-house counsel and assistant policy director for the Office of the Mayor since June 2022, leading efforts to strengthen Columbus gun laws and working on other public safety-related issues including juvenile justice. Her prior experience includes a decade of working in the criminal justice system, most notably as a Franklin County public defender and former judicial candidate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Ohio State University and a JD from Capital University Law School.
“I am honored to have been entrusted by Mayor Ginther to lead the Office of Violence Prevention,” Shak said. “I am committed to working collaboratively with city departments, community partners and residents to reduce violence and enhance safety initiatives in Columbus.