The Bureau Team

Lisa Daugaard

PDA Director

Lisa Daugaard is Director of the Public Defender Association. Lisa served as Deputy Director of the King County (WA) Department of Public Defense through August 2015, and previously supervised misdemeanor practice (2002-2006) and then was Deputy Director (2007-2013) at The Defender Association, a non-profit public defender office.

Kris Nyrop

LEAD National Support Director

Kris Nyrop is the LEAD National Support Director and has worked on the LEAD project since 2009. He was the Executive Director of Street Outreach Services in Seattle from 1997-2007.


Prior to that he worked for the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health - Seattle and King County, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. He was a project ethnographer for the Vancouver Injection Drug User Study from 1997 to 1999. He has worked as an outreach worker, researcher, and trainer in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, hepatitis C prevention, syringe exchange, harm reduction, and drug policy reform. Additionally, he has consulted with projects throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Russia, and the Republic of Georgia.

Chief (Ret.) Brendan Cox

Director of Policing Strategies

Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies for the LEAD National Support Bureau. He was born and raised in Albany, NY and maintains his Bureau office there. Prior to coming to the Bureau, Brendan worked for the Albany Police department for 23 years and retired as the Chief. Albany was the third City to adopt and implement LEAD.


Brendan enjoys the hands-on work at the Bureau and helping
communities across the country work to reform how systems look at problematic substance use, mental health, and poverty.

Najja Morris is the Operations Advisor with the LEAD National Support Bureau. In her current role, Najja is responsible for providing national technical assistance and support to jurisdictions in all phases of the implementation of local LEAD programs; focusing on the areas of harm reduction, case management and direct services.


Prior to joining the National Support Bureau, Najja served as a Case Manager, then as Direct Services Supervisor, with the LEAD Pilot program in Seattle WA for 3 years. Najja has dedicated over 20 years working within the urban areas of Seattle with/on behalf of a wide array of marginalized and disenfranchised communities; including foster-care/homeless youth, those struggling with mental health and substance abuse, chronically ill/homeless and youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

Najja Morris

LEAD Operations Advisor