The Amherst board of trustees has two new members: Shirley Tilghman, former president of Princeton, and Patrick Fitzgerald ’82, who led the prosecutions of two successive governors of Illinois. Tilghman was chosen by the board; Fitzgerald was elected by his fellow alumni.
Patrick Fitzgerald '82 was elected by his fellow alumni to serve a six-year term on the Board of Trustees starting in 2013. He is a partner in the Chicago office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates.
As the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2012, Fitzgerald led numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including the convictions on corruption charges of two successive governors of Illinois—George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. As a special counsel, Fitzgerald was selected to lead the investigation of leaks in the Valerie Plame matter, and he tried the case of United States v. I. Lewis [“Scooter”] Libby. From 1996 to 2001, Fitzgerald was national security coordinator for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in which capacity he served on a team of prosecutors investigating Osama bin Laden and was chief counsel in prosecutions related to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. As assistant U.S. attorney in New York City from 1988 to 1996, he prosecuted Mafia figure John Gambino, as well as Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others charged in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
A recent talk given for Amherst alums in Chicago by Patrick Fitzgerald ’82, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, got a mention in the New York Times by way of Chicago News Cooperative columnist James Warren.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ’82 made headlines for his role in the investigation and arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. Lauded as an “outstanding prosecutor, a pure professional,” the former rugby player—who received an honorary degree from his alma mater in 2007—was profiled by The New York Times, CNN, ABC News and Time magazine, among other outlets.