DEA Director To Deliver First Lecture in 'Public Leadership Series' Sept. 16Sept. 6, 2002
Asa Hutchinson, director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will deliver the first Public Leadership Series lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, in the Barfield Drawing Room of Baylor University's Bill Daniel Student Center. The Public Leadership Series is a new initiative at Baylor designed to increase understanding of government and the ideal of public service in society.
"Today's students will be the leaders of our country in the future," said James Odom, director of public affairs at Baylor. "With the frequent presence of government officials in Central Texas, we have a unique opportunity to interact with current and former policymakers who are dealing with the issues of the day and can challenge our students to leadership."
Hutchinson was nominated to be director of the DEA by President George W. Bush and has served in that capacity since Aug. 8, 2001. During his tenure, he has focused the resources of the agency on combating drug trafficking and promoting prevention and treatment programs. He successfully orchestrated efforts to arrest key leadership of the Arellano Felix Organization, the most powerful and violent trafficking organization in Mexico, and served the first-ever indictments of known terrorists engaged in drug trafficking.
Hutchinson has been at the forefront of efforts to educate the public about the dangers of drug use and develop new programs to counter the drug trade. He launched a nationwide public-awareness campaign against methamphetamine this summer also developed the Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance Program, a program designed to reduce drug use by improving cooperation between law enforcement officials and local communities. Additionally, he is a strong supporter of specialized drug courts that encourage rehabilitation of nonviolent offenders.
Hutchinson was in the midst of his third term in Congress when nominated by President Bush to serve as director of the DEA. First elected in 1994, Hutchinson was a leader in Congress on drug policy matters, serving on the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America and the House Judiciary and Select Intelligence Committees, two panels with oversight responsibilities of U.S. drug policy.
Before being elected to Congress, Hutchinson practiced law in Arkansas for 21 years, trying over 100 jury trials. Former President Ronald Reagan appointed Hutchinson as U.S. Attorney for Western Arkansas at the age of 31, making him the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation. As U.S. Attorney, he played a critical role in resolving an armed standoff with the terrorist group Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord (CSA). Hutchinson subsequently led the successful prosecution of the group on racketeering charges.
Hutchinson's lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the office of public affairs at (254) 710-1421.