Secretary Shanahan Appoints James “J.R.” Gorham as Commissioner of Juvenile Justice


Secretary Kieran Shanahan has named James “J.R.” Gorham as Commissioner of Juvenile Justice, effective immediately.


“I am confident that Commissioner Gorham’s leadership skills will be an asset to DPS,” said Shanahan. “He is committed to public service and helping ensure that juveniles are given the right tools to become productive citizens.”

Gorham retired last September as brigadier general and assistant adjutant general for domestic operations with the North Carolina National Guard, capping a 38-year military career that included three years of active duty service in the U.S. Army. In his duties with the National Guard, he was the lead officer for outreach to state and local leaders. Additionally, Gorham spent 29 years in the banking industry, retiring in 2010 as manager of retail banking at First Citizens Bank.

“I am excited for the opportunity to join the team at the Department of Public Safety,” Gorham said. “I have long had a desire to work with at-risk children, and I believe that my leadership position with the Division of Juvenile Justice will allow me to help our talented staff show the troubled youth of North Carolina options that can make a difference to their lives and to our communities.”

The Division of Juvenile Justice offers services for youth by establishing and maintaining a seamless comprehensive juvenile justice system that promotes juvenile delinquency prevention, intervention and treatment.

Gorham, a native of Falkland, N.C., lives in Kernersville, with his wife and three children. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from East Carolina University, and holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.


Contact: Pam Walker
Phone: 919-733-5027

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