Executive Team

The executive office is comprised of Executive Officer Jennifer P. Shaffer, Chief Counsel Jessica Blonien, Chief Deputy of Program Operations Sandra Maciel, Chief Hearing Officer Rhonda Skipper-Dotta, Chief Psychologist Cliff Kusaj, and Chief of the Investigations Brian Kelley.

Executive Officer Jennifer P. Shaffer is the administrative head of the BPH who is responsible for managing the daily operations and implementing policies.

Chief Counsel Jessica Blonien oversees the board’s legal division, which is responsible for providing legal counsel to the executive officer, commissioners, and board staff. Ms. Blonien is also responsible for reviewing the board’s parole suitability hearings decisions, coordinating the board’s monthly executive board meetings, and providing commissioner and deputy commissioner training.

Chief Deputy of Program Operations Sandra Maciel is responsible for the board’s administrative support services, including the scheduling of parole suitability hearings, contracts, procurement, the board’s budget, transcription services, appointment of inmate counsel for parole suitability hearings and mentally disordered offender hearings, pre-hearing audits, correspondence, facilities, training, and fleet management. In addition, Ms. Maciel also oversees the board’s executive analysis unit, which is responsible for analyzing legislation and managing the board’s information technology systems, website, workload projections, and data.

Chief Hearing Officer Rhonda Skipper-Dotta oversees the board’s deputy commissioners and associate chief deputy commissioners, who handle pre-hearing motions, parole discharge reviews, certification, placement, and annual hearings for mentally disordered offenders, parole suitability hearings, and parole reviews for nonviolent offenders. Ms. Skipper-Dotta is also responsible for the board’s Americans with Disabilities Act compliance unit.

Chief Psychologist Cliff Kusaj oversees the board’s Forensic Assessment Division, which is comprised of forensic clinical psychologists and senior psychologists responsible for conducting risk assessments for inmates scheduled for parole suitability hearings and for conducting clinical screenings of inmates to determine if they are sexually violent predators.

Chief of Investigations Brian Kelley oversees the board’s Offender Investigations and Screening Division, which is responsible for conducting the board’s investigations. These investigations include pardon, reprieve, and commutation cases. Other investigations include death penalty investigations, requests for medical parole and compassionate release, Intimate Partner Battering/Battered Woman Syndrome investigations, and investigations arising out of the parole suitability hearing process. The Division also screens the background and history of inmates to identify potential Sexually Violent Predators and processes holds for completion of the Sexually Violent Predator screening process. The division is also responsible for the state’s International Prisoner Transfer Program, and for verifying parole plans once an inmate is granted parole. Finally, the division is responsible for the board’s security at public meetings and provides executive protection.

BPH Contact Information