Campus News

First general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security to speak at UGA

First general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security to speak at UGA

Athens, Ga. – Joe D.Whitley, the former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security will deliver the Susette M. Talarico Lecture at the University of Georgia. Whitley’s remarks, entitled “Protecting America: One Day at a Time” will be given in the Larry Walker Room in Dean Rusk Hall at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. The lecture is co-sponsored by the UGA School of Public and International Affairs department of political science and the criminal justice studies program.

Whitley, a native of Georgia, received his A.B. in political science (1972) and J.D. (1975) from UGA.Although he began his legal career in private practice in Columbus, it was not long after that he was offered his first job in public service, as assistant district attorney.

In a wide-ranging career in the Department of Justice, Whitley served under three U.S. presidents and five U.S. attorneys general. Under President George H.W. Bush, Whitley served as the acting associate attorney general, the third-ranking position in the Department of Justice. Prior to that, appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush, respectively, he served as U.S. attorney in the Middle and Northern Federal Districts of Georgia.

In 2003, Whitley was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the highest ranking legal official in the DHS.In addition to being the chief legal adviser to former Secretary Tom Ridge and Secretary Michael Chertoff, at DHS, Whitley was responsible for integrating 1,500 lawyers and 400 support staff from 22 different agencies into a unified, full-service legal division.

“Joe Whitley has had a very distinguished legal career at the highest levels of government.He brings a wealth of experience and insights from the criminal justice field to the Talarico Lecture,” said Thomas P. Lauth, Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs.

Now in private practice, Whitley is a frequent speaker and lecturer on defense, homeland security, white-collar, compliance, and corporate governance issues.

The Talarico lecture is made possible by a fund created to honor longtime UGA professor Susette Talarico, who was a faculty member at UGA for more than three decades. Talarico was the Albert Berry Saye Professor of American Government and Constitutional Law, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, and served as director of the criminal justice studies program for 22 years.

This event is free and open to the public.For more information, call 706/542-7079.