Resource Development Associates

David Onek, JD

Practice Director

David is a long-time criminal justice reformer who has held leadership positions in government, non-profits and academia. As Practice Director at RDA, he oversees all RDA justice projects and serves on the RDA Executive Team.

Prior to joining RDA, David served as Executive Director of the Northern California Innocence Project, as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission, and as Deputy Director of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Criminal Justice. He taught “Criminal Justice Reform in California” and “Race, Ethnicity and the Criminal Justice System” at UC Berkeley Law School, created and hosted the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast, a co-production of UC Berkeley Law School and the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and served as Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Earlier in his career, David worked for the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity, Legal Services for Children, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He also served on the National Finance Committee for the Obama and Clinton presidential campaigns. David is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Brown University. He lives in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood with his wife Kara Dukakis and two daughters.


  • Juris Doctor – Stanford Law School
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – Brown University

Select Projects

  • AB109 Evaluations (Alameda County, Sonoma County)
  • Arnold Ventures: Improving Pretrial Court Appearance Research
  • Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) Legal Services Assessment
  • Los Angeles City Attorney: Anti-Trafficking Program Planning
  • Prop 47 Evaluations (Alameda County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Yolo County)
  • Sacramento Juvenile Trauma Response Court Evaluation
  • San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project Technical Assistance
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