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About

Leadership

​Justice Mary C. Noble, Secretary

Justice Mary C. Noble, Ret., received her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in psychology from Austin Peay State University. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
 
Justice Noble was in private practice for nine years prior to being appointed as the Third Division Domestic Relations Commissioner for Fayette Circuit Court. She was subsequently elected to Fayette Circuit Court where she served until 2006, at which time she was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court. She retired from the Supreme Court in December 2016.
 
Justice Noble served two-terms in Fayette Circuit Court, one of the state’s original circuit courts. In her role as Chief Judge, she oversaw the construction of the Robert F. Stephens Courthouses and co-founded the Court of Justice Drug Court Program, which is now a statewide model. 
 
During her 10-year service on the Kentucky Supreme Court, Justice Noble served as Deputy Chief Justice and was the first woman to preside over an oral argument before the Court.  She also chaired the Family Court and Juvenile Court Rules Committees, which drafted Kentucky’s first procedural rules for both Courts.  She is the recipient of numerous awards for her judicial service. 
 
On Dec. 10, 2019 Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear appointed Justice Noble as the Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. She is the first woman to serve in that position.

Ronnie Bastin, Deputy Secretary

Ronnie Bastin has been a committed public servant for over 39 years. He began his career with the Kentucky Department of Corrections in 1978, serving two and one-half years as a Correctional Officer and four years as a Classification/Treatment Officer.
 
In 1984, Bastin was hired by the Lexington Police Department and served in a variety of capacities for the next thirty years, including Chief of Police from 2008-2015. Bastin retired from the Police Department in January 2015 and was appointed to serve as Commissioner of Public Safety in Lexington.

As Commissioner, he was responsible for leadership and executive oversight of the Lexington Police Department, Lexington Fire Department, Division of Community Corrections, Division of Enhanced 911, Division of Emergency Management and Building Security for government facilities.

Ronnie and his wife Sandra live in Lexington and have two adult children.


Michele Barnes, Human Resources Director

Michele Barnes was appointed as the Human Resources Director of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet in November of 2017. Her career with state government spans 27 years with over 23 years in the field of Human Resources.

She began her career in human resources at the Department of Corrections, Frankfort Career and Development Center. Her path then lead her to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as the Human Resources Branch Manager and later on to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as the Assistant Director for the Division of Human Resource Management.

Michele is in her 3rd term as the Chair of the Personnel Council. She previously served for 3 years on the board of International Personnel Management Association-Human Resources (IPMA-HR) Kentucky Chapter as the Chapter Secretary and Assistant Treasurer. In addition, she serves as an official mentor to other HR professionals through IPMA-HR.

Michele has two associate degrees, one in Business Management and Marketing with an emphasis in Human Resources and a second in Business Administration. She is a resident of Scott County.

Natalie Burikhanov, Legislative Director

Natalie Burikhanov is the Legislative Director for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. As a Frankfort native, Natalie grew up in government and public service, and she believes in the power of innovative, cross-sector solutions to pressing social policy issues.

Prior to her work with the Cabinet, Natalie worked with the Judiciary Committee at the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and as a Policy Analyst for The Council of State Governments. Natalie has held multiple roles with the Cabinet, including Grant Administrator, Director of the Kentucky Victim Assistance Academy, and, most recently, Policy Advisor to the Secretary. She has also worked with the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Catholic Charities of Louisville's Human Trafficking Program, the University of Kentucky's Center for English as a Second Language, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Natalie's professional portfolio has included issues pertaining to criminal justice, victims of crime, the future of work, language access, human trafficking, cannabis policy, mental health and suicide prevention, sexual violence, smart government, and preventive health policy. Her academic background is in diplomacy, international development, comparative foreign policy, and human rights issues, and her thesis focused on the adverse impacts of forced migration on girls and sexual violence in conflict.

Natalie received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Arabic & Islamic Studies from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in Diplomacy from the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy & International Commerce.

Morgan Hall, Communications Director

Morgan Hall is the Communications Director for the Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet.

Morgan brings 10 years of professional experience in communications and marketing to the Cabinet having previously worked in the legal and health care fields at the McBrayer Law Firm and Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center - Lexington. In these roles she served as director over internal and external communications, videography, graphic arts, marketing strategies, media relations, event management, social media, branding, website design and management, advertisements and publication production, client engagement and employee relations.

Morgan believes in the power of transparent and honest communication. She works closely with the Cabinet's leadership, agencies, and departments, in addition to the Governor's Communications Office, to ensure one united message is delivered to Kentuckians regarding matters pertaining to justice and public safety. As the Cabinet's Communications Director, she is tasked with exploring innovative strategies and opportunities to build proactive communications. Morgan is committed to collaborating with the media in order to provide timely notifications and keep the public informed as programs and services are implemented which have a direct impact on public safety and the citizens of the Commonwealth. 

Morgan received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Kentucky where she graduated magna cum laude. She currently resides in Lexington with her husband and two children.