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Former FBI Director James Comey Will Deliver Howard University's Opening Convocation Keynote Speech

The ousted FBI director recently testified that Russia absolutely interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
Former FBI Director James Comey Appointed as Howard University Keynote Speaker & King Chair
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Howard University has appointed former FBI Director James Comey as this year’s Opening Convocation keynote speaker and the 2017-2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy.

In a statement released Wednesday, Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said, “I am pleased to welcome Mr. Comey to Howard. His expertise and understanding of the challenges we continue to face today will go a long way in sparking rich discussion and advancing meaningful debates across campus.”

As part of his appointment, Comey will start the school year with an address to the University and discuss issues with the university’s community through a series of lectures. 

“I am honored to hold the King Chair this school year,” Comey said. “Howard has a longstanding history of being a vibrant academic community and the perfect place to have rich dialogue on many of the most pressing issues we face today. I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging students and faculty alike.”

The King Chair was created to provide students with access to experienced public service executives who developed public policy initiatives. After consulting with student leaders and campus stakeholders, Comey will announce the topic of the lectures. He is also donating his entire King Chair compensation of $100,000 to a Howard University scholarship fund that supports students from foster home environments.  

Before his service in the FBI, Comey worked as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia. He served as both the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Comey was previously an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond Law School and a Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia University Law School. 

Last year, Comey announced an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails less than one month before the 2016 presidential election — a move many believed bolstered Donald Trump into the White House. Earlier this year, Trump fired Comey as the investigation into whether his administration colluded with Russian officials in the election began to gain steam.

During a Senate Intelligence Hearing in June, Comey testified that he leaked memos of his “unusually frequent” interactions with President Trump. Both in a written statement and during the testimony, Comey stressed that his “gut feeling” told him to document the conversations.

“I was alone with the president of the United States. I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility and that related to the president-elect personally. Then [there was] the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said.

That statement followed others he made that accused the president of defamation and smearing. Comey also said he believes he was fired for his handling of the Russian collusion probe.