McDonnell announces Forensic Science appointee
Ms. Jackson joined the DFS staff in 1995 and is a forensic expert specializing in the field of controlled substances analysis. Since 2008, she has served as the Department’s Chemistry Program Manager with responsibility for the technical aspects of controlled substances, toxicology and trace evidence services.
“Pete Marone has served the Commonwealth with integrity and distinction since 1978. His scientific and management expertise have ensured the citizens of Virginia that fair, thorough, and technically skilled forensic laboratory services consistently have supported our criminal justice system,” said Governor McDonnell. “Pete is held in high esteem by his peers across the country and is well known and respected in both the General Assembly and the halls of Congress. We wish him well in his retirement but know that he will be greatly missed.”
Marone was first appointed DFS Director in February 2007 to complete the unexpired term of his predecessor, Dr. Paul B. Ferrara, upon Ferrara’s retirement. Pete was reappointed by Governor McDonnell in 2011. The selection of Ms. Jackson as the next Director marks the third time since DFS became a separate state agency that the Director has been selected from among the Department’s senior management. DFS is widely regarded as one of the nation’s premier state forensic laboratory systems.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to draw from among the talent developed within the Department of Forensic Science to select the next Director,” said the Governor. “Over the years, Linda Jackson has distinguished herself, in both the lab and the courtroom, as an expert in the analysis of controlled substances. Linda has risen through department supervisory ranks, played a leading role in helping DFS earn international laboratory accreditation in 2009, and served as a member of select national panels such as the DEA’s Scientific Working Group for Drug Analysis and the White House Subcommittee on Forensic Science Interagency Working Group on Standards, Practices and Protocols. Linda has also been directly involved in the training of new department scientists and the implementation of new processes and procedures for analyzing illegal drugs and identifying the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamines.”
Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker added, “Linda Jackson has earned the confidence of the criminal justice community, and members of the General Assembly for her clear and expert advice on various forensic science issues. I know she will be a tremendous asset to the Public Safety team.”
Ms. Jackson holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University and a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The Department of Forensic Science is the statewide forensic laboratory system in Virginia. It employs 276 scientists and other staff and performs a full range of forensic services in its four regional labs in the Commonwealth.