America in the 21st Century
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 issues shaping America's political landscape.
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 nation’s safety, Attorney General Ashcroft discusses how today’s policy will affect your organization tomorrow.
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.
As Attorney General, and the U.S. Justice Department’s CEO, Mr. Ashcroft led the world’s largest and foremost international law firm and law enforcement agency—an organization larger than most Fortune 500 companies, with over 122,000 employees. Mr. Ashcroft integrated strategic planning, budgeting and performance measures, which resulted in the DOJ earning a clean audit for the first time in its history. Today, Mr. Ashcroft serves as the Chairman of The Ashcroft Group, LLC which provides compliance advice, legal counsel and consulting services to world-leading clients, including Fortune 500 companies, multi-national corporations and corporate executives.
Mr. Ashcroft boldly led the Department of Justice through the transformational period after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He subsequently reorganized the Department to focus on its number one priority: preventing terrorism. The tough antiterrorism campaign he directed helped keep America safe throughout his tenure and resulted in the dismantling of terrorist cells across America and prevention of over 150 terrorist plots worldwide. His book, Never Again, is a fascinating and probing look at what Mr. Ashcroft believes will ultimately make America safe. He details the dangers to and within America from outside forces, and what he did to repair the serious breaches in our country's security.
Within two months of the attacks, and with financial markets still reeling, the unprecedented corporate scandals at ENRON, WorldCom and dozens more unfolded, further destabilizing the weakened economy. John Ashcroft was called upon to restore America’s faith in the integrity of our marketplace. He marshaled the resources of the federal government to bring to justice those guilty of massive corporate fraud. At all times, he demanded that cases be brought swiftly, with appropriate serious penalties—always taking into account the best interests of the employees and shareholders whose lives were most directly affected.
From 1985 to 1993, as Governor of Missouri, Ashcroft balanced eight consecutive budgets, built a $120 million budget surplus and established a $190 million operating reserve. His management and fiscal integrity helped generate 338,000 new jobs state-wide, a triple-A bond rating from the three major Wall Street rating agencies, a per capita state and local tax burden ranked 49th in the United States and a 12 percent increase in personal income. His new education performance standards led Fortune magazine to name him as one of the nation’s top ten Education Governors. In 1991, the non-partisan National Governors Association voted him Chairman.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, he brought his management skills to Washington where he authored budget rules protecting Social Security and Medicare and helped balance the federal budget for the first time in decades. As a member of the Senate Judiciary, Foreign Relations and Commerce Committees, he helped to reform laws regulating the telecommunications, aviation, transportation, banking and information technology industries. He received awards from the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Businessmen for his service in the Senate.
In 1973, Mr. Ashcroft served as Missouri Auditor, followed by two terms as Missouri Attorney General. He was raised in Springfield, Missouri, received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago.