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University of Iowa News Release


May 4, 2007

Coleen Rowley To Deliver Law School Commencement Address

Coleen Rowley, a University of Iowa College of Law alumna who went on to a long career in the FBI and was named Time magazine's 2002 Person of the Year, will deliver the commencement address to the law school's Class of 2007 at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12 in Hancher Auditorium.

Rowley's address, "No Time For Pettifoggery: Too Much Challenge Awaits," will encourage students to maintain the Rule of Law.

Time named Rowley its co-Person of the Year in 2002 for her work as a whistleblower in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. 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 the attacks. Later that year, Time called her the 'public conscience' of the FBI.

She later questioned the wisdom of going to war against Iraq in 2003 and shortly afterward retired as an agent.

Rowley grew up in northeast Iowa. She attended Wartburg College in Waverly, 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 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) that 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.

Rowley continues to speak publicly on the topic of ethics and ethical decision-making to various groups, ranging from school children and business people to lawyers.

Rowley and her husband, a native of Iowa City, have four children.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,