2002 Time person of year to lecture Coleen M. Rowley, the Minneapolis FBI agent named one of Time magazine's three "persons of the year" in 2002, will present a lecture at The University of South Dakota on March 22.
Rowley was named a "person of the year" for authoring a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller accusing FBI headquarters of blocking efforts that could have foiled some of the 9/11 hijackers. The lecture, titled "Integrity/Doing Right," will be held at 4 p.m. in Farber Hall, and is free and open to the public.
Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa, graduating valedictorian of her high school class. She thereafter obtained a B.A. degree in French from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, graduating summa cum laude in 1977.
She then attended the College of Law at the University of Iowa and graduated with honors in 1980, passing the Iowa Bar Exam that summer. She is married and has four children ranging in age from eight to 21.
In January of 1981, Rowley was appointed a special agent with the FBI and initially served in the Omaha, NE, and Jackson, MS, Divisions. In 1984 she was assigned to the New York Office and for about seven years worked on Italian Organized Crime (specifically the Colombo Family of the LCN) and Sicilian heroin drug investigations (some of the latter "Pizza Connection" cases). During this time she also had the opportunity to serve three separate temporary duty assignments as an assistant legal attach� in the Paris, France Embassy and Montreal Consulate.
In 1990, Rowley received an "Office of Preference" transfer to Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of principal legal advisor (now known as "chief division counsel"), which entailed oversight of the Freedom of Information, Forfeiture, Victim-Witness and the Community Outreach Programs as well as providing regular legal training to FBI agents of the division and some outside police training.
In April, 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the war in Iraq, she "stepped down" from her (GS-14) legal position to go back to being a (GS-13) FBI special agent.
She has also begun to speak publicly on the topic of ethics and ethical decision-making to various groups, ranging from school children and business people to lawyers.
The speech is sponsored by the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at The University of South Dakota. The Farber Center annually hosts Farber Forums, which are programs designed to offer students and the public insight into national and state politics, campaigns and elections, public administration, and international relations.
The Farber Center was established in the fall of 1997 by the South Dakota Board of Regents as a Center of Excellence, and is housed within the Political Science Department at USD. The mission of the center is to prepare students and help communities to face difficult public problems in a shared manner consistent with constitutional values.
The director of the center is William D. Richardson, a political scientist who has published extensively on the subject of character and leadership. Past speakers at Farber Forums have included Colin Powell, President Gerald Ford, USD alumnus Tom Brokaw and Solicitor General Kenneth Starr.