The World Leaders Forum Conversations with Mark Vargas will welcome Bernard B. Kerik, New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner to Judson University in Elgin. The main event will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 9, at the University’s Herrick Chapel, 1151 N. State Street in Elgin. Judson alumnus Mark Vargas ’04 will host a discussion with Kerik about leadership, national security, and how to handle a crisis. Tickets are on sale for general and VIP admission.
The interview with Kerik is the third event for the World Leaders Forum series, Conversations with Mark Vargas, where Vargas invites some of the most recognizable names in business, entertainment, and politics. The 2019 inaugural guest was entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban, followed by actor, entrepreneur, and inventor Terrence Howard in 2021.
“Kerik is an exceptional example of someone who shines during a crisis and given his vantage point of our national security throughout the years, his perspective should be important for each and every one of us to hear,” shared Vargas. “There is no timelier conversation to have during these tumultuous times.”
“The World Leaders Forum is honored to host Mr. Kerik as part of the Conversations with Mark Vargas series,” said Judson President Gene Crume. “Mr. Kerik’s experience with navigating the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, as well as consulting on security issues around the world will provide a ‘compelling stage for our current global political dynamics.’”
Proceeds from this event will fund leadership, entrepreneurship, diversity, and RISE program scholarships for students at Judson University. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., VIP ticket purchasers can attend an hors d’oeuvres reception and will have a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Mr. Kerik before the event.
Tickets start at $75. For more information, visit https://www.judsonu.edu/world-leaders-forum/conversations-with-mark-vargas/
About Bernard B. Kerik
Bernard B. Kerik is one of the most dynamic and accomplished leaders in law enforcement, correction, and national security in the United States.
For more than thirty years, he served his country with distinction, honor, and valor, most notably as the 40th Police Commissioner of the City of New York who oversaw the response, rescue, recovery, and investigation of the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. He also served as an advisor to U.S. Navy SEAL, Chief Eddie Gallagher; and as lead investigator for President Donald Trump’s legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Prior to the NYPD, for close to six years, he served as First Deputy, and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, overseeing the New York City jail system, including Rikers Island, the largest and most violent jail system in the country at the time. Through his leadership, the department achieved unparalleled success in management, accountability, and safety and security.
He has spent ten years working in the Middle East for the ruling families of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Jordan; and in 2003 was appointed by the White House, as the Interim Minister of the Interior of Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Considered one of the most decorated police commissioners in the 178-year history of the New York City Police Department, in the line of duty, he has rescued people from burning buildings, been stabbed, shot at, and saved his partner who had been wounded in a gun battle. He survived the terror attacks on 9/11, and a bomb plot in Iraq. He has been the target of numerous death threats, seized tons of cocaine and millions in drugs proceeds from the Cali Cartel, and brought cop killers, Colombian drug lords and Iraqi terrorists to justice.
His service to his country has been recognized in more than 100 awards for public and heroic service, including the New York City Police Department’s Medal for Valor and 29 NYPD medals for excellent and meritorious service. He has been commended for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, received the DEA Administrator’s Award, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
About Mark Vargas
Mark Vargas is a trusted adviser and close confidante to some of the most high-profile political and business leaders in America. His work as a tech entrepreneur in health care and as a political opinion writer has been featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Huffington Post, and Fox News.
From 2007 to 2010, Vargas served as a civilian within the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a special task force focused on rebuilding war-torn economies through foreign and private investment. In 2009, he was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal. His civilian service at the Defense Department included 14 trips to Baghdad and expanded across two presidential administrations. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Judson University, where he served as student body president.