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Securing America’s Future:

The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Richard DesLauriers

Vice President of Corporate Security, Penske Corporation; Former Special Agent in Charge, FBI Boston Division
Assumption College (MA), Class of 1982
Richard DesLauriers is vice president of corporate security at Penske Corporation. He retired in 2013 as special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Division, where he led a team of more than 500 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, and support personnel, who investigated terrorism, espionage, and criminal matters in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Among his achievements, he led the multi-agency investigation team that identified and apprehended the suspects charged in the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013 and also closed the can on Boston fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, the focus of a 16-year manhunt.

DesLauriers earned a BA in politics from Assumption College and a JD from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.
At Assumption College I received what I consider to be one of the finest and most personal liberal arts educations available in this part of the country. My liberal arts education permitted me to pursue a career in federal law enforcement with the FBI—a career choice I’ve never, ever regretted. At Assumption, I was furnished with three key skills that have proven vital to my success as an FBI agent.
 
First and foremost, my Assumption education taught me to think logically and in a reasoned and analytical manner. In the FBI, this skill set allowed me to form well-founded conclusions culled from the analysis of complex fact patterns, so that the agents under my command could undertake the most effective investigative actions possible to mitigate the numerous national security and criminal threats faced by our nation on a daily basis here in the post-9/11 world. Without the ability to think logically, and in a reasoned and analytical manner, I would not have been effective in this critically important mission.

My liberal arts education permitted me to pursue a career in federal law enforcement with the FBI—a career choice I’ve never, ever regretted. At Assumption, I was furnished with three key skills that have proven vital to my success as an FBI agent. 

Second, I graduated from Assumption with very strong writing skills, which served me well in many ways in the FBI. Each agent is required to write detailed, precise, and scrupulously accurate investigative reports that need to stand up to the highest degree of scrutiny in Federal District Court. A poorly written—or worse, a less than totally accurate investigative report—does not serve the cause of justice or the Constitution of the United States itself—which every FBI agent is sworn to uphold, respect, and defend. The writing skills I perfected through my liberal arts education at Assumption were one of the keys to being an effective FBI agent.
 
Most importantly, an Assumption education taught me the value of possessing a moral compass. This characteristic is absolutely essential to success in the workplace and to broader success in life itself. Possessing a moral compass is as vitally important today as it was when I graduated from Assumption, especially in a world that so often appears morally agnostic, and where clear lines differentiating right from wrong are frequently blurred. Each FBI agent needs to be guided by a moral compass that directs them to act in a manner that honors the three words for which the letters FBI stand: Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. In every major life decision I am guided by the same moral compass that was instilled within me by my Assumption education.
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