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Samantha Opong

Program Specialist

Samantha Opong is a program specialist with the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Ms. Opong manages SMART Office grant programs, including awards under the Adam Walsh Implementation Act grant program and the National Sex Offender Public Website grant program. In addition to managing grants, she works closely with the senior policy advisors assisting jurisdictions with the implementation of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Prior to joining the SMART Office, Ms. Opong served as a professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In this capacity, Ms. Opong assisted with hearing preparations through analytical research, written reports, and logistics coordination. She also worked as a staffer in a congressional office, where she developed and advanced legislation regarding social issues, making policy recommendations based on her experience as a social worker. She also organized panel discussions centered on the correlation between youth mental health and violence.

Prior to her time as a congressional staffer, Ms. Opong was a social worker, working with homeless families and victims of child and sexual abuse for more than nine years. Her work encompassed both direct services and policy formation. Ms. Opong began her career as a case manager for a homeless shelter in New York City, where she specifically worked with child victims of sexual abuse. Here, she developed educational programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Additionally, while working at the homeless shelter, Ms. Opong developed an aftercare program that helped former homeless families adjust and reintegrate into their communities, reducing their chances of becoming unhoused again.

Ms. Opong earned a B.A. in sociology from the State University at Stony Brook and a Master of Social Work from Howard University.

Date Created: March 5, 2020