Francey Hakes served as the first-ever National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction from January 2010 to March 2012. The United States Attorney General appointed her to the post, which was created by the U.S. Congress in the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, and which was housed in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. As the first coordinator, Francey was responsible for creating the inaugural U.S. strategy addressing child sexual exploitation entitled, The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, which was submitted to the U.S. Congress in August 2010. The Strategy contained three key parts: first, a threat assessment gauging the threat child exploitation poses to the Nation’s children; second, a thorough review of ongoing efforts to combat child exploitation at all levels of government and the private sector; and third, a muscular new approach to be taken by a strong coalition of federal, state, local, industry, and non-profit stakeholders to prevent, deter, and interdict child sexual exploitation. After submitting this first National Strategy to Congress, Francey was charged with its implementation.
She lead multiple working groups across federal, state and local agencies that were tasked with increasing collaboration, recommending new approaches and technologies, and formulating new and innovative training. She regularly briefed the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, drafted remarks for delivery by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, and helped prepare the Attorney General for testimony before the U.S. Congress.
Francey oversaw all child exploitation efforts at the Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the Nation’s 93US Attorneys’ Offices, and the Office of Justice Programs, which houses the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces and other law enforcement grant and victim-centric programs. Francey served as the liaison from the Department of Justice to industry, non-profit, federal, state, and local agencies, as well as to law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide. Francey testified before the U.S. Congress and the United States Sentencing Commission, and briefed senior officials at the White House on child exploitation issues.
Francey has been invited to speak as an expert on child protection at industry, non-profit, and law enforcement events, including those sponsored by Interpol, the Virtual Global Task Force, the U.S. Department of Education, InHope, the National Children’s Alliance, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the International Bullying Prevention Association, and the Dallas Child Advocacy Center. She was the key organizer for two Department of Justice-sponsored training events attended by more than 3000 child protection professionals from around the world.
Francey was a prosecutor for more than 15 years, serving first as an Assistant District Attorney specializing in crimes against children, then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney specializing in technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation. Francey has held a top-secret security clearance as part of her work on national security investigations while serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Francey also presented cases to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court in Washington DC on a variety of national security matters. She has been lead counsel on dozens of trials relating to child homicide, crimes against children, and other violent crimes. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a Global Policy Studies Certificate, from the University of Georgia. Francey also holds a Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University. Francey is now CEO of her own consulting firm, providing advice, counsel, and expert witness services to firms, law enforcement, governments, Industry, educational institutions and others on national security and the protection of children.