CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY • RULE OF LAW
Founder, Justice Policy Project (public education regarding crime and criminal justice) (January 2019-present)
Director of Public Safety Policy—Illinois Governor's Office (2017-January 2019)
Ethics Officer, Illinois Department of Transportation (2016-2017)
U.S. Department of Justice Regional Attaché based in Cairo, Egypt (2010-2015)
Founder, Egypt Justice Project: https://egyptjustice.com (ongoing)
Federal anti-terrorism prosecutor (2006-2010)
Attorney-Advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal (2005-2006)
Career U.S. federal prosecutor (retired) (1983-2015)
Criminal justice and public safety policy
Prosecutor and judicial training
Investigating criminal organizations
Money laundering and other financial investigations
International criminal justice
International humanitarian law
International mutual legal assistance
Islamic criminal law
Juris Doctor (Cum Laude), J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (1981)
Bachelor of Science, Real Estate Finance and Urban Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois (1975)
Founder, Justice Policy Project (January 2019 to Present)
Strategic objective: change public policy regarding criminal justice reform and related issues by changing public opinion through public education.
Director of Public Safety Policy, Illinois Governor's Office (September 2017 to January 2019)
Policy management and oversight regarding all public safety agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor (Illinois State Police; Department of Corrections; Department of Juvenile Justice; Illinois National Guard; Illinois Emergency Management Agency; Fire Marshal)
Ethics Officer and Senior Assistant Chief Counsel, Illinois Department of Transportation (October 2016 to September 2017)
U.S. Department of Justice Attaché and Legal Advisor, Cairo, Egypt (September 2010 to April 2015)
Diplomat representing the Department of Justice in most of the Gulf States of the Middle East in operational matters involving mutual legal assistance and extraditions. Liaison relationships in Egypt with the Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecution Office, Supreme Constitutional Court, and Court of Cassation.
Designed, organized, and delivered capacity building programs for Egyptian prosecutors and judges.
Anti-terrorism Coordinator, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of Illinois (September 2006 to September 2010)
Lead prosecutor in U.S. v. Ali Al-Marri (al Qaeda sleeper agent), and U.S. v. Michael Finton (attempted bombing of Federal Building), designated as two of the FBI’s top-10 terrorism cases in 2009.
Attorney-Advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal, Regime Crimes Liaison Office, Baghdad, Iraq (November 2005 to August 2006)
Lead Attorney-Advisor regarding crimes committed by Saddam Hussein and high-ranking members of his former regime against the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of Illinois (February 1983 to June 2015)
Lead Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Attorney (1986 to November 2005)
Lead prosecutor in about 40 jury trials, most involving criminal organizations and charges of conspiracy, and one racketeering murder case.
Over 30 appellate briefs and oral arguments before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Assistant State’s Attorney, Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office, Urbana, Illinois (March 1982 to February 1983)
Prosecuted DUI and felony cases, including murder.
Department of Justice: Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award (2009)
Prosecution of U.S. v. Ali Al-Marri terrorism case (al Qaeda sleeper agent)
Department of Justice: Director’s Award for Superior Performance (2001)
Prosecution of large-scale, multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking crime
SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
Program in International Humanitarian Law and Policy, through Harvard University, including thematic workshops co-sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Jordanian Institute of Diplomacy:
Advanced principles of humanitarian law and policy (Cambridge, July 14-16, 2008)
International law and counterterrorism (Cambridge, July 17-18, 2008)
Law of occupation (Amman, Jordan, February 25-26, 2009)
Islamic law of war and state (Amman, Jordan, February 28-March 1, 2009)
Participant in Syracuse University’s Islam-International Humanitarian Law Initiative.
Audited Islamic law course at the University of Illinois Law School (Fall 2009), and have studied numerous texts on Islamic law.
Department of Justice training at National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina (partial list):
Basic International Issues
National Security Symposium on International Evidence
National Security Training for Anti-terrorism Prosecutors and FBI Agents
National Security Symposium on Terrorism Financing
National Antiterrorism Advisory Council Coordinators annual conferences (occasional presenter)
Money laundering and other financial investigations and prosecutions
Public corruption investigations and prosecutions
Advanced trial advocacy
"Egypt's Judiciary: Obstructing or Assisting Reform?" (The Middle East Institute: 2016) http://www.mei.edu/content/at/egypt%E2%80%99s-judiciary-obstructing-or-assisting-reform
“Freedom of Religion and the Constitution in Egypt: The Distinction Between Belief and Practice, and Protecting Religion and Government from Each Other,” in Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean: The Pluralistic Moment (Routledge, 2016)
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS
Iraq: Investigations of crimes against humanity committed by Saddam Hussein and high-ranking members of his former regime (recorded in 2007):
Session 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aVDoC-bxB0
Session 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nujCVC_wn-w
Egypt: Department of Justice Attache and Legal Advisor (recorded in 2015):
Extra Ordinary podcast interviews by Megan Gilbert (recorded in 2018):
SPEECHES AND COMMENTARY
Illinois Department of Transportation speech, “Ethics in the Workplace” event, June 6, 2017: https://multimedia.illinois.gov/idot/ethics17/idot-eitw-17-Risley.html