Jesse Kelley is a policy analyst and government affairs specialist for criminal justice with the R Street Institute. In this role, she supports R Street’s criminal justice experts by traveling to states to help lawmakers implement effective public policies related to juvenile justice, post-conviction life and other related topics.

Jesse joined R Street in January 2018, having previously served as legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project. At MPP, she led the development and implementation of state advocacy initiatives in seven states. Earlier in her career, Jesse was a criminal defense attorney and managed a large indigent caseload, with an average of 70 open cases.

She has a bachelor’s in English literature from Troy University and a juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi, with a concentration in international law from Cambridge University.

Jesse lives in Washington, D.C., with Cooper, her 8-year old, perfectly well-behaved Pembroke Welsh corgi.


Click here to download a high-resolution headshot of Jesse.