NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
Scott Burns Executive Director
Scott Burns was selected by the NDAA Board of Directors on March 21, 2009, to serve as executive director of the association. While a number of challenges face America’s 39,000 prosecutors, Mr. Burns’s priority is making certain that prosecutors’ voices are heard on every issue involving the criminal justice system. In addition, Mr. Burns oversees NDAA’s internal programs (Child Abuse, Violence Against Women, Gangs and Guns, Traffic Safety, Homicide, Elder Abuse), which are federally funded to provide prosecutors with current state-of-the-art training.
Mr. Burns was nominated twice by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed both times by the United States Senate. Mr. Burns served from 2002 to 2009 first as the deputy director for State, Local and Tribal Affairs, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and later as the deputy director of the entire agency.
As the deputy director of National Drug Control Policy, Mr. Burns was responsible for coordination and implementation of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy. This comprehensive and balanced strategy included policies and programs directed toward prevention and education, treatment and law enforcement. Mr. Burns led the federal government’s efforts to reduce methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse, enhance drug courts and student drug testing programs, expand drug treatment capabilities, eradicate marijuana on public lands, and reduce drug abuse in Indian Country. In addition, Mr. Burns was on the front lines of the Administration’s efforts in Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan and around the world.
Mr. Burns was also appointed by the White House to serve as the United States’ representative to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an international organization charged with eliminating doping and drug use in sport. In his role as the U.S. sports minister, Mr. Burns was subsequently chosen to represent the 40-nation Americas region on WADA’s Executive Committee and further honored by his selection to chair the 180-nations’ Ministers of Sport Conference in Athens, Greece. He was selected to chair the Independent Observers Team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Prior to his confirmation, Mr. Burns served for 16 years as the elected county attorney and chief prosecutor in Iron County, Utah. He also routinely provided pro bono legal service to the indigent. As an adjunct professor, Mr. Burns taught constitutional law, search and seizure, race relations, and the civil liability of peace officers.
Mr. Burns attended college in Cedar City, Utah where he was inducted into the Southern Utah University Sports Hall of Fame (football), and law school in San Diego, California.
Michael Wright President
NDAA President 2012–2013
Prosecuting Attorney, Warren County, MO
Mike Wright took over as president of the National District Attorneys Association in July 2012. He is the elected prosecuting attorney for Warren County, Missouri, a rural community of 32,000 residents located 45 minutes west of St. Louis. He is the third person in his family to serve in that position.
Mike was first elected and took office in 1991 and is serving his sixth four-year term. Warren County, although established in 1833, did not elect its own prosecuting attorney until 1875. Since then, only 12 elected prosecutors have served Warren County. Mike is the county’s second longest serving prosecutor. His grandfather, Alvin Juergensmeyer, was the longest serving prosecutor at 28 years and his great-grandfather, J.W. Delventhal, became prosecutor in 1891, 100 years before Mike. Between them, they have served Warren County for 60 years.
Mike grew up in Warren County and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He attended law school at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, where he got his first taste of prosecution by working in the Osage County, Kansas Prosecutor’s office and actually tried three jury trials as a law student. Following law school, he was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Clay County, Missouri, before eventually returning to his hometown and seeking the position of prosecuting attorney.
Besides his duties as prosecutor, Mike continues to be active in his state association. He serves on its board of directors and the association’s retirement board of directors. Mike was president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in 2001 and has served as its legislative committee chair for the past several years.
He has been a member of NDAA since 1991 and attended his first NDAA training in 1996. Mike started attending board meetings in 2000 and was seated on the board of directors as Missouri’s state director in 2002. He has served as co-chair of the legislative committee, served on several executive committees and on the executive working group. Mike was elected a vice-president in 2009 and served until his election as president-elect in 2011.
Mike and his lovely wife, Cindy, have two grown daughters. He enjoys watching most sports, especially St Louis Cardinal baseball and Mizzou football and basketball. When he has free time, besides being with family, he can be found at the golf course.
Rick Hanes Chief of Staff
Richard T. (Rick) Hanes joined NDAA as executive office administrator on February 23, 2009.
A native Hoosier, he was born in Evansville, Indiana, in 1954. Hanes received his B.A. in psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1976 and a paralegal certificate from The George Washington University in 1977. He worked as a paralegal for firms in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, MD, and Phoenix, Arizona, for three years.
Hanes worked as a legal administrator for private law firms in Vienna, Virginia, Phoenix and Washington, DC for 20 years. He was responsible for managing budgets, accounting, human resources, information technology, facilities, and the law libraries.
In 2000, he started working as an administrative executive for non-profit organizations funded by government grants and contracts. He has seven years experience supervising grant portfolios ranging in size from $2-$45 million per year and has experience in reviewing and bringing organizations into compliance with grant regulations.
Hanes is a former president of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and has served 14 years as a Scout leader and volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America. Hanes has been married for 32 years to Catherine Elizabeth Hanes, who is a legislative aide to Catherine Hudgins, county supervisor for the Hunter Mill District of Fairfax County, Virginia. The Hanes have two sons and one daughter.