Co-Founder, Prosecutor Impact
Adam J. Foss is a former assistant district attorney in the juvenile division of the Suffolk County district attorney’s office (SCDAO) in Boston, Massachusetts. A fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration, he believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond simply “cases won.” He is the co-founder of Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system.During his nine years as a prosecutor, Mr. Foss collaborated with the courts and the community to develop programming that continues to have a positive impact on the neighborhoods he prosecuted in, including the Roxbury CHOICE program and the SCDAO Reading Program. Before leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Foss was a critical piece of the foundation of the first juvenile diversion program in Suffolk County, keeping young people out of the cradle-to-prison pipeline. In 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association voted him Prosecutor of the Year. In 2015, Foss was voted one of the country’s “40 Most Up-and-Coming Lawyers” by the National Law Journal. The Root named him one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans of 2016.” In 2017, Fast Company named him one of the “Most Creative People in Business,” the NAACP awarded him with the Roy Wilkins Next Generation Leader Award, and the Mandela Foundation recognized him as the Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year.He sits on the boards of Restore Justice California and of the Pretrial Justice Institute. He also is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation Leadership in Government initiative as well as a Director’s Fellow in the world renown MIT Media Lab. He recently appeared in the CNN documentary American Jail.