Lori James-Townes has over 25 years of clinical practice, leadership, and management experience. She is the principal owner of Expand-NOW, a consulting firm specializing in speaker, coaching, and teaching. Her most recent position was Director Social Work, Leadership and Program Development @ Maryland Office of Public Defender which has more than 800 employees. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to help others grow in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and management. She also led the agency’s social work staff, consultants, and interns. She has held teaching positions at Morgan State University, the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and most recently Towson University (Clinical Instructor).
Through Expand-Now, LLC, she is able to fulfill her lifelong passion for adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Lori has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a speaker, her presence is requested both nationally and internationally to speak about: Mitigation, Storytelling, Leadership, Team Building, Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System, Secondary Trauma, and other clinical areas. She serves as the Alumni Board President for the UMSSW.
She has held various leadership positions on national organizations and Boards of Directors. Her commitment to growth has been recognized as organizations have appointed her to serve as Conference Chair for several national conferences and training programs. Lori also serves as a faculty member for the following national and regional leadership development, trials skills, and/or training, She earned her master’s degree in clinical social work (University of Maryland SSW) and her B.A. in Social Work from Morgan State University. She has completed all her course work for her doctorate degree in Public Health from Morgan State University. One of Lori’s favorite motivational quotes is by Maya Angelou: “The is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”