Shelia Bryant is an attorney and activist in the area of Criminal Justice Reform. Growing up in rural Mississippi and in the ghettos of Los Angeles, she overcame poverty and racism to become one of a handful of African American women to achieve the rank of Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. Her notable assignments include Operations Officer for the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC), responsible for managing the hearings for detainees housed in the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay; Inspector General for the former Secretary of the Department of Defense, General James Mattis; and Function Advisor for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense Inspector General.
As an attorney, Ms. Bryant practiced civil, criminal and family law in Oceanside, CA before accepting a civil service position for the U.S. Navy and relocating to Upper Marlboro Maryland. Her most recent civil service assignment was Inspector General for Naval Forces Europe and Africa while stationed in Naples, Italy. Ms. Bryant is married with two adult children and is currently a student at Harvard Kennedy School, pursuing a Master in Public Administration. Following graduation in May, Ms. Bryant hopes to engage in politics to advocate for prison reform and other human rights issues.