A former member of the 9-11 Commission will give the West Virginia University Benedum Lecture at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in Room G24 Eiesland Hall.

Attorney Richard Ben-Veniste will speak onPost 9-11 ChallengesFighting Terrorism and Protecting Civil Liberties.The lecture is free and open to the public.

Law and Politicsis the topic of this years lecture. In its 24 th year, the Benedum lecture series brings nationally and internationally known researchers and scholars to the WVU campus to speak on timely topics.

Ben-Veniste is a senior partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe&Maw. In 2002, he was appointed to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States, popularly known as the 9-11 Commission. In July, 2004, the Commission issued its report and recommendations.

Assailed by some for his direct and persistent questioning during the 9-11 Commission hearings, Ben-Veniste has been involved in some of the most high-profile hearings in U.S. history. From Watergate to Whitewater to the 9-11 Commission, his experience in Washington is above reproach.

He made his reputation as Assistant Special Prosecutor and Chief of the Watergate Task Force, prosecuting the principal Nixon Administration defendants in the Watergate cover-up trial, and has served as Special Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Governmental Operations and as minority Chief Counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee.

Ben-Veniste successfully prosecuted a wide variety of fraud, official corruption, organized crime and labor racketeering cases as Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section of the United States Attorneys Office, Southern District of New York.

He is the co-author of Stonewall: The Real Story of the Watergate Prosecution with George Frampton, published in 1977, and served as NBC s on-air legal consultant during the Iran-Contra congressional hearings. Ben-Veniste is also a frequent commentator on current affairs involving the intersection of law and politics.

He has been listed in Whos Who in America since 1975, The Best Lawyers in America since 1983, and Washington Magazines Top Lawyers in Washington, D.C. since the initial publication of the list in 1992.

He is a Presidential appointee to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, which is mandated to declassify secret documents relating to World War II era crimes. Since 1998, the IWG has supervised the declassification of nearly 8 million pages of previously classified documents.

Ben-Veniste received his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He was a recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship at Northwestern University Law School, where he earned an LL.M degree. He has been a guest lecturer at several law schools, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Georgetown and Fordham.

The Benedum Lecture is sponsored by the Claude Worthington Benedum Endowment and the Office of the Provost and coordinated by the Distinguished and Chaired Professors of WVU .