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John Ashcroft    

Former U.S. Attorney General; Former Governor and Senator of Missouri

Under his watch, the Justice Department focused on its number one priority: preventing another terrorist attack. Mr. Ashcroft led the Department in initiating a tough anti-terrorism campaign that has assisted in disrupting numerous terrorist plots worldwide, dismantling terrorist cells in many cities across America, and convicting nearly 200 individuals associated with terrorism-related investigations to date.

In addition to his focus on national security, Mr. Ashcroft lead the Department in taking criminals off the street, reducing gun crime, targeting illegal drugs, and protecting civil rights so no American felt outside the protection of the law.

Violent crime has dropped to a 30-year low as the Department has employed tough laws and tough penalties against criminals who have victimized the innocent. The Department has implemented President Bushs Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, increasing federal gun prosecutions by 68%. The war on drugs has been reinvigorated and the country is celebrating record lows in student drug use while government seizures of heroin have doubled in two years.

The Justice Department also developed the governments first ban on racial profiling by federal law enforcement, successfully resolved decades-long civil rights investigations, and worked to bring communities together in a way that respects the rights of all Americans. At the direction of President Bush, the Department established the Corporate Fraud Task Force to restore integrity to the marketplace by cracking down on companies and corporate executives who abused the trust of their employees and investors.

Mr. Ashcrofts career of public service began in 1973 when he became Missouri Auditor; he was later elected to two terms as Missouri's Attorney General.

His service to the state of Missouri continued when he assumed the position of Governor in 1985 (through 1993). As Governor, he spearheaded the states efforts in reducing the use of illegal drugs and balancing eight consecutive budgets. He also served as Chairman of the Education Commission of the States.

Fortune magazine rated John Ashcroft one of the Top Ten Education Governors, and Financial World and City and State magazines credited him with making Missouri one of the best financially managed states.

Mr. Ashcroft was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, where he worked to combat illegal drugs, increase the quality of public education, reduce crime and safeguard the rights of crime victims. He also co-sponsored the re-authorization of the Violence against Women Act, and fought to toughen penalties for gun crimes.

Prior to entering public service, Mr. Ashcroft taught business law at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. He authored a book honoring his father, Lessons from a Father to His Son, and co-authored multiple editions of two college law textbooks with his wife, Janet.

The Ashcrofts have three children: Martha (Mrs. James Patterson), John and Andrew, and one grandchild, Jimmy Patterson.


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Speech Topics

Election 2012: Leadership in Challenging Times

John Ashcroft reflects on principled leadership and the durable integrity of convictions required to make tough decisions. Speaking about lessons learned through service, the great promise of America and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Attorney General Ashcroft analyzes the political landscape leading up to Election 2012.

IT Security: Striking a Balance Between Access, Privacy and Usability

Personal and corporate data continues to be compromised at an alarming rate, in part because people are reluctant to use security tools that are too cumbersome to incorporate into their regular routines. Attorney General Ashcroft addresses these concerns and discusses the critical need for innovative security technologies that strike a balance between access, privacy and usability.

The Future of Homeland Security

Offering strategic perspectives on homeland security, integrity in the Justice Department's surveillance policies, and other issues currently affecting our nations safety, Attorney General Ashcroft discusses how today's policy will affect your organization tomorrow.


Ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft: Sloppy rush for info on bombing ...

John Ashcroft, who served as President George W. Bush's attorney general during pivotal years in the war on terror, said sloppy leaks about the Boston ...

Fmr Attny General John Ashcroft to CNN's Jake Tapper: "I would be ...

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper today about the prior FBI investigation of the Boston bombing suspect. Ashcroft also ...

John Ashcroft keynote speaker at Lincoln Days banquet

Former U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft will be the keynote speaker at the Republican Lincoln Day dinner set for March 5 in Joplin.

John Ashcroft: This is Not The Justice Department That I Knew | Fox ...

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft weighs in on the FBI decision to reopen the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

Supreme Court to consider lawsuit against former attorney general ...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would consider a long-running lawsuit against former attorney general John D. Ashcroft and other top officials filed by ...

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