Louis Freeh was dubbed “the singularly best-suited person in America to run the FBI” by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and “a law enforcement legend” by President Clinton, who appointed him director in 1993. Heralded for transforming the FBI from a national law-enforcement agency to a global-security institution, Freeh doubled the number of bureau branches worldwide. During his eight-year tenure, crime—like so many other industries of that era—became globalized. He visited 62 countries and met with more than 2000 foreign leaders while increasing the FBI’s focus on counterintelligence, cyber crime, DNA technology and electronic surveillance. Indeed, holding the position of FBI chief from September 1993 to June 2001 put him at the forefront of a global war with terrorists.
Freeh’s best-selling book, My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), chronicles his efforts to reform, fortify and strengthen the bureau while ensuring its freedom from political interference. Landmark investigations and prosecutions for which he’s been recognized include: the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, the Unabomber, the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, Robert Hanssen and the “Pizza Connection” mafia case.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University, and earning his Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Rutgers Law and Master of Laws (LLM) from New York University School of Law, Freeh began his career in law enforcement as an FBI Special Agent—based in New York City and at headquarters in Washington, D.C. Freeh joined the United State’s Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, and after being appointed Deputy U.S. Attorney, he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the US District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. Freeh served on the federal bench until his appointment as Director of the FBI by President Clinton. Freeh has served as MBNA America Bank’s Vice Chairman, General Counsel, Ethics Officer and Principal Lawyer through Bank of America’s $35 billion acquisition of MBNA.
Currently CEO of Freeh Group International, a global consulting enterprise, Freeh provides strategic guidance on legal and corporate affairs, business ethics, evaluating risk, homeland security strategies and worldwide government relations. In addition to FGIS, Freeh is the vision behind global law firm Freeh Sporkin Sullivan, LLP, a unique team of former judges and law enforcement officials providing legal counsel, analysis and management consulting services.
Freeh sits on the boards of several public companies as a lead director and Chairman of the Governance Committee. His consulting and legal practices are heavily engaged in corporate governance and compliance issues, and he is a court-appointed monitor overseeing corporate compliance with a USDOJ/SEC settlement.
In his presentation, Freeh recounts his experiences with high-profile criminal cases to deliver fascinating stories from the most secure depths of Washington and beyond. He also offers compelling expertise and counsel on confronting the security/privacy issues facing today’s complex world. An expert on corporate governance and financial disclosure (including the Sarbanes Oxley Act), his private-sector experience also offers a unique perspective into corporate ethics, government relations, risk and global security that is crucial to corporate practice in the 21st century.
A first lieutenant in the U.S. Army JAG Corps Reserve, he currently resides in Delaware with his wife, Marilyn.