Message from the President


March 1, 2023

Dear NACOLE Members and Supporters:

The past several years has produced tremendous growth in the field of civilian oversight and there has been unprecedented implementation and enhancement of oversight agencies throughout the United States.  During this time, NACOLE staff and the Board of Directors (Board) have increased the support we provide to new jurisdictions that are developing oversight and those seeking to increase their authority.  This incredible growth forced the NACOLE Board to commit to increasing staff capacity so that we can continue to provide knowledge and services to our members and the greater independent oversight field.  In 2018, we updated our strategic plan and every year since we have spent time and energy to ensure we were on track with our plan to secure funding and hire an Executive Director.  In late 2021, we set a date for that hire of early 2023.  To prepare for this, we also invested in fundraising consultants and training with the goal of restructuring NACOLE to be more efficient and to plan for realistic expansion and impact.    

I am pleased to say that not only are we on schedule with this restructure, but also with our hiring.  With significant consideration given to the skills, experience, and expertise needed to successfully guide NACOLE to our inevitable expansion, the Board looked internally to a candidate who has been an integral part of the organization for over two decades.  We are proud to announce that Cameron (Camme) McEllhiney has been selected as the organization’s inaugural Executive Director.  We are confident that under her leadership and passion for the work, the organization’s success and impact in fulfilling its mission and vision will continue to grow and flourish.

McEllhiney_C_Professional.jpgCameron has demonstrated a commitment to the support and training the NACOLE community needs to establish, enhance, and sustain robust, effective independent civilian oversight of police, jails and prisons.  She has taken on many roles within NACOLE as the organization has grown with unwavering commitment.  Most recently, as NACOLE’s Director of Training and Education, she played a leading role in developing, coordinating, delivering, and evaluating local, national, and international training programs.  She also has and will continue to provide support to independent civilian oversight practitioners and advocates.  Among Cameron’s reach is the assistance to organizations working to establish or enhance independent civilian oversight in communities throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Her full biography can be found here.

Please join us in welcoming Cameron as Executive Director by making a donation to show your support for NACOLE’s new leadership and continued growth! Your financial support will help us continue this important work on a national and international scale.  Please consider monthly giving at any level, and remember that your donation is tax deductible. 

It has been a long road getting to this place and on behalf of the NACOLE Board and all of our hardworking committees, we thank you and are grateful to everyone who fought to get us here.  Additionally, thank you for all your work and for your contribution to the field of independent civilian oversight.  NACOLE needs your support now more than ever in this time of expansion. 

Cheers to a continued time of growth in 2023 and beyond!

Gia Irlando
NACOLE President