The Police Accountability Board (PAB), has selected Dr. Lesli Myers-Small to head the oversight agency. Dr. Myers-Small comes to the PAB with more than 20 years of executive leadership experience, including expertise in community building, staff development, and policy analysis.

“The Board is thrilled to recommend the appointment of Dr. Lesli Myers-Small as the PAB’s new Executive Director,” said Larry Knox, Chair of the Board. “Dr. Myers-Small is passionate about her work and commitment to the Rochester community and is eager to continue making a positive impact in her new role with the Police Accountability Board. We are confident she will be officially appointed by City Council. She will build on the PAB’s commitment to greater transparency and accountability in our police department which Rochester voters have demanded since 2019.”

She will begin her new position on June 24 as Interim Executive Director pending her confirmation hearing by the Rochester City Council.

“I am excited to learn that the Police Accountability Board has finished their process and selected a candidate for their next Executive Director for Council consideration,” said President Miguel A. Meléndez Jr.

“We look forward to learning more about her qualifications and desire to serve in this position. Rochester City Council will schedule a confirmation hearing in the coming weeks with a potential vote to consider in our July General Council meeting.”

Dr. Myers-Small’s extensive experience in various leadership positions, and her commitment to diversity and equity, were key factors in the Board’s decision to select her for the role. In addition to her experience, she holds a master’s degree in Urban Educational Administration and a Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership from Saint John Fisher University and many other professional certifications and accolades.

“I am excited to have been chosen as the Executive Director for the Police Accountability Board. Excited about the opportunities ahead, we will continue our efforts on public accountability and transparency,” said Dr. Myers-Small of her new position.

“I recognize the importance of a smooth leadership transition and I am committed to listening, learning, and engaging with various stakeholders to drive our vision forward. My focus will include relationship-building, governance, public affairs, and community engagement to enhance organizational capacity and alignment. I am looking forward to collaborating with the PAB Board, leadership team, staff, elected officials, and the community to implement impactful programs, strategic initiatives, and policies.”

Dr. Myers-Small will work closely with recently appointed Deputy Executive Director Ben Wittwer. Wittwer joined the PAB in March 2024 and also acts as the agency’s general counsel.  His legal expertise includes criminal defense, civil rights litigation, administrative law and more. Prior to joining the Police Accountability Board, Wittwer was the Principal Court Attorney for the New York State Unified Court System.

The PAB has been led by Interim Executive Director Sherry Walker-Cowart since January 2023. She is set to aid in the transition of the new ED.

“Heading the Police Accountability Board has been a rewarding challenge in my career,” said Walker-Cowart. “Now, I as plan to shift out of the agency, I am certain Dr. Myers-Small will continue the hard work the Board and the staff have begun. She is passionate about her work and engaged in the community. I know she will make a positive impact in her new role with the PAB.”