Tickets for the event are free, but seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Misericordia University Cultural Events Box Office at (570) 674-6719 or the remaining available tickets can be picked up at the lobby box office up to 10 minutes prior to the show. A question-and-answer session follows immediately after her presentation.
Ms. Townsend will also conduct a master class for students who are enrolled in the Misericordia University Government, Law and National Security Program earlier in the day on campus. The University is also holding a symposium on national security issues for its students. Panelists include Peter J. Smith, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Gen. Keith Martin (Ret.), former director of Pennsylvania Homeland Security; John Belcher, district director for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, and several other panelists who will explore the nation's national security challenges and discuss career opportunities in government, law enforcement, international relations, and the private sector.
Ms. Townsend was appointed Homeland Security Advisor on May 28, 2004, a position she held until January 2008. She chaired the Homeland Security Council and reported to the president on Homeland Security policy and combating terrorism. She previously served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004.
Most recently, Ms. Townsend has provided consulting services and advice to corporate entities on global strategic engagement and risk, as well as crisis and contingency planning. She is a regular guest commentator for CNN and has regularly appeared on network and cable television as a counterterrorism, national and homeland security expert.
Prior to serving President George W. Bush, she was the first assistant commandant for Intelligence with the U.S. Coast Guard. Ms. Townsend also spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice in a variety of senior positions under the administrations of President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. She held a variety of senior positions at the Department of Justice, including her last assignment as counsel to the Attorney General for Intelligence Policy.
Ms. Townsend began her prosecutorial career in 1985 as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1988, she joined the U. S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York where she focused on international organized crime and white-collar crime cases.
In 1991, she worked in the Office of the Attorney General to assist in establishing the newly created Office of International Programs, the predecessor to the Executive Office for National Security. She joined the Criminal Division in 1993 and served as chief of staff to the assistant attorney general. Ms. Townsend played an integral role in establishing the division's international training and rule of law programs.
From 1995-97, Ms. Townsend was director of the Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division, which serves as the U. S. Central Authority for extradition and mutual legal assistance, and also works with the Department of State in the negotiation of international law enforcement treaties.
Ms. Townsend was appointed acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division in 1997, where she oversaw international law enforcement and training matters in the Criminal Division and acted as an advisor to the attorney general and deputy attorney general on international law enforcement policy.
In 1998, she was named counsel for Intelligence Policy where she managed matters related to national security policy and operations for the Department of Justice. In this capacity, she headed the office of Intelligence Policy and Review, an office that provides legal advice and recommendations to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice regarding national security matters, reviews executive orders, directives and procedures relating to the intelligence community, and approves certain intelligence-gathering activities - especially those matters related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Ms. Townsend graduated cum laude from the American University in 1982 where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Bachelor of Science in psychology. She received her Juris doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1984. In 1986, she attended the Institute on International and Comparative Law in London, England.
The Government, Law and National Security Program at Misericordia University prepares students to enter the expanding national security workforce within both government and the private sector. Students achieve an integrated knowledge of political science, legal studies, behavioral science, management, history, and national security studies focused on threats to public safety. Misericordia's program equips graduates with a solid academic foundation for entry-level career employment and mid-level career mobility opportunities in broad areas of criminal justice, public safety, security services, government administration, and legal services. In addition, the Government, Law and National Security Program prepares students for graduate study in law, government, business, and national security studies.
For more information about the Government, Law and National Security Program at Misericordia University, please log on to www.misericordia.edu or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 36 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats.
(Information from Paul Krzywicki)