Donna Pence, BS
Donna Pence was selected to be the first female Special Agent with the Tennessee Bureau in 1976 after two years as a patrol officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Park Police. During her 25 years with the Bureau she worked undercover, special crimes, and field investigations. She organized the Bureau’s first missing children’s efforts as well as being designated as the Bureau’s child abuse investigation specialist in 1986. During her tenure she was the Special Agent in Charge of both the statewide Drug Enforcement Unit and the Training & Recruitment Unit. Upon her retirement in 2001, she moved to San Diego, California where she joined the Academy of Professional Excellence, a project of San Diego State University as a trainer and curriculum specialist. She is the past chair of the California Network of Child Advocacy Centers, former board member of the California Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and a member of the San Diego Child Fatality Review Committee. She also serves on the Child Welfare Committee of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Donna has authored or co-authored numerous articles and book chapters as well as a book, Team Investigation of Child Sexual Abuse: The Uneasy Alliance with Charles A. Wilson. Donna was the lead on writing the first American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s Investigative Interviewing of Children Guidelines. She most recently authored a chapter, “Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation” for the 3rd edition of The APSAC Child Maltreatment Handbook and an article, “Trauma-Informed Forensic Child Maltreatment Investigations” for a special issue of Child Welfare: Effectively Addressing the Impact of Child Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare. She has conducted training over the last 28 years to multidisciplinary audiences in 38 states and 7 countries on multidisciplinary team development and maintenance, child and adult interviewing, and investigative issues around child maltreatment and fatalities.