Leadership

Executive Team

AKILAH MANCE, J.D.

General Counsel

Akilah Mance joined HFSC in 2018 as the corporation’s in-house general counsel. She serves as the chief legal officer for HFSC, providing legal advisement to the organization and its board of directors, as well as managing outside legal counsel. She works closely with HFSC’s leadership and management team to address the legal implications of HFSC’s daily operations. Ms. Mance has over 15 years of experience in criminal law, municipal law and general litigation. She previously served as a senior felony prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and an associate attorney at a municipal law firm. Ms. Mance has a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and a B.A. from Rice University. She also completed coursework at Philipps Universität-Marburg in Germany and Oxford University in England.

AMY CASTILLO, PH.D.

COO / Vice President

Dr. Amy Castillo, HFSC’s COO and vice president, has been working for HFSC since its establishment in 2014. Previously, she served as HFSC’s director of research and development. In that role, Dr. Castillo’s division worked with all disciplines to identify and apply for new grants while also managing existing grants. The group also oversees, the validation of instruments and methods for multiple disciplines. Prior to HFSC’s establishment, Dr. Castillo worked as a forensic biology criminalist under the HPD Crime Laboratory. She became a supervisor in July 2013, and helped oversee the elimination of Houston’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits. Dr. Castillo holds several patents and is an expert in semen and blood identification, differential extraction, amplification of forensic DNA and other scientific methods related to forensic biology. Dr. Castillo completed her doctoral degree in biochemistry at the University of Houston.

CARINA HAYNES

Crime Scene Unit Director

Carina Haynes joined HFSC in 2017 as a crime scene supervisor and promoted to director in May 2021. She has over 14 years of experience in crime scene investigation, beginning her career at the Durham Police Department in North Carolina. In addition, Ms. Haynes has over 1,200 hours of training in various forensic disciplines and is certified by the International Association of Identification as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst. She is well versed in leading teams in high-stress environments and preparing new staff for a career as crime scene investigators. Ms. Haynes has a bachelor’s of art in criminology from North Carolina State University.

DAVID LEACH, CPA CIA

Chief Financial Officer / Treasurer

David Leach joined HFSC in 2015 as the organization’s chief financial officer and treasurer. He previously served as chief financial officer of a privately held chemical company. Prior to that, Mr. Leach spent 10 years at EnPro Industries, a publicly traded manufacturing company with revenues of more than $1 billion. After serving in several roles in EnPro, including vice president of business development, Mr. Leach became general manager of the company’s Lubrication Group. He oversaw all aspects of that $25 million facility and led a team through a process to resolve significant supply chain issues.

JACKELINE MORAL

Quality Director

Jackie Moral became HFSC Quality Director in January 2023.  Prior to her promotion to Director, Jackie worked as Quality Division Specialist since 2014. In both roles, she has worked with all forensic disciplines to ensure their processes meet accreditation requirements while driving continuous quality improvement. Prior to her role in Quality, Jackie worked as a chemist in the Seized Drugs section for the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory from 2007 until 2014. She has over 15 years of forensic science experience.  She is a certified Quality Auditor by ASQ and she has been an active accreditation assessor for ANAB since 2012. Mrs. Moral holds a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech.

PETER STOUT

CEO / President

Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC’s CEO and president, initially joined the agency in 2015 as its chief operating officer and vice president. He has more than 20 years of experience in forensic science and forensic toxicology. Prior to joining HFSC, Dr. Stout worked as a senior research forensic scientist and director of operations in the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International. Dr. Stout also has served as president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). He is currently the president of the Texas Association of Crime Lab Directors. Dr. Stout has a doctorate in toxicology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Stout also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps.

PRESHIOUS REARDEN, PH.D.

Director of Research, Technology, and Development

Dr. Preshious Rearden, Director of Research, Technology, and Development, joined HFSC in 2016 as a method validation analyst. Dr. Rearden has a comprehensive background in analytical research and development and is proficient in a broad range of analytical techniques and instrumentation. Dr. Rearden has more than 10 years of experience in research and development, has co-authored scientific papers and patents, and has worked in chemistry, engineering and higher education. Dr. Rearden has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio University.

TAI ALUKO

Human Resources Director

Tai Aluko joined HFSC in 2023 as the organization’s Human Resources Director with more than 18 years of comprehensive experience in strategically planning and tactically implementing successful HR solutions. Prior to HFSC, Mrs. Aluko has previously worked in the public, manufacturing, and retail sectors, providing business partnering to senior leadership. Mrs. Aluko is dedicated to creating robust corporate cultures that promote continuous engagement by empowering and motivating employees to realize their full potential. As a certified HR professional, she holds the SHRM-SCP and SPHR designations. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Texas A&M University.