Seventh Annual William French Smith Lecture Welcomes the Honorable Michael Chertoff

December 19, 2013  | 1 min read

The Honorable Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, sat down with School of Law dean Deanell Reece Tacha November 1 at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, for the seventh annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture.

The conversation, which took place in the Presidential Learning Center, focused on the topic, “Big Data as Big Brother,” and was followed by a reception at the Presidential Learning Center Mezzanine.

In his role as secretary, Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders or implementing their plans if they were already in the country. He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines because what’s important is what didn’t happen.

Before heading up the Department of Homeland Security, Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud, and terrorism—including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.