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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 9, 2004

Rowley To Discuss Patriot Act, Ethics At UI Lectures

Coleen Rowley, FBI agent and 2002 Time magazine co-Person of the Year, will discuss the Patriot Act and national defense when she speaks at the University of Iowa on Feb. 21 and 22.

At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 she will deliver a free public lecture sponsored by the UI Lecture Committee in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. Before that, on Saturday, Feb. 21, she will deliver the keynote address to the annual Women in Law Conference, sponsored by the Organization of Women Law Students and Staff. That lecture begins at 1 p.m. in the Levitt Auditorium in the Boyd Law Building. The cost for attending the conference, which includes admission to the lecture, is $8 for UI students and $15 for others.

Her topic on both nights will be "Civil Liberties Versus the Need for Effective Investigation," which will examine the Patriot Act and America's defense against terrorist attacks. A question and answer session will follow both lectures. Those who need assistance to attend either event should call OWLSS at 319-337-4893 or the Lecture Committee at 319-335-3255.

Rowley is currently an FBI special agent in Minneapolis. In May 2002, in a highly publicized memo to FBI director Robert Mueller, she wrote of the missteps she felt that the FBI had taken in the months leading up to September 11, 2001. Later that year, Time called her the 'public conscience' of the FBI in an article naming her one of three Persons of the Year, along with corporate whistleblowers Sherron Watkins and Cynthia Cooper.

Rowley grew up in northeast Iowa. She attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in French in 1977. She then enrolled at the UI College of Law, graduating with honors in 1980 and passing the bar that same year.

In January 1980 Rowley was appointed special agent with the FBI and initially served in the Omaha and Jackson, Miss., divisions. In 1984 she was assigned to the New York office and for the next seven years she worked on Italian organized crime, specifically the Colombo crime family, and Sicilian heroin drug investigations (some of the later "Pizza Connection" cases). During this time she also furthered her language proficiency in Italian at the Defense Language Institute and served three separate temporary duty assignments as an assistant legal attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Paris U.S. consulate in Montreal, Canada.

In 1990 Rowley was transferred 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 outside police training.

In April, 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the FBI director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the war in Iraq, she stepped down from her legal position to go back to being a FBI special agent. Rowley also began to speak publicly on the topic of ethics and ethical decision-making to various groups, ranging from school children and business people to lawyers.

In 1984 Rowley set the two-mile record in the FBI for female Special Agents (11 minutes 49 seconds) and she is now an avid triathlete. In recent years, she has entered and won her age category of the Pigman Triathlon in Palo, Iowa.

Rowley and her husband, a native of Iowa City, have four children ranging in age from eight to 22.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.