FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 OVW

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2003                                                                               202/307-0703






WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department today announced that Diane Stuart has been designated by President Bush to serve as the Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.


The Office on Violence Against Women (formerly the Violence Against Women Office), created under the 1994 Crime Act, provides federal leadership and has awarded more than $1 billion in grant funding for violence against women programs for the past eight years.  With enactment of a new Justice Department authorization bill in November 2002, the position of Office on Violence Against Women director was elevated to a presidentially‑appointed position, subject to Senate confirmation.  The designation of Stuart to serve as Acting Director represents the Administration’s continued commitment to maintaining a high profile for violence against women issues. 


“Combating violence against women is a priority for the Justice Department, and Diane’s commitment has helped make the office a success,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft.  “I am pleased Diane will continue to provide valuable leadership and service to the Justice Department as Acting Director of this office.”


Ms. Stuart has served as Director of the existing Office on Violence Against Women, since her appointment by President Bush in October 2001.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Stuart was the State Coordinator for the Utah Domestic Violence Cabinet Council, serving in that capacity since 1996.  Prior to that, she worked as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Specialist in the Division of Child and Family Services for the State of Utah.  She served as Director of the Battered Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Center in Logan, Utah from 1989 through 1994. 


Ms. Stuart has been on the leadership group of the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women, and has served on the Women’s Advisory Council for Senator Orrin

Hatch.  She also has participated on the Utah Council on Victims of Crime, the Utah Domestic Violence Advisory Council, the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Utah Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Coordinating Council.


Ms. Stuart received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Science degree in family and human development from Utah State University.