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Former Gov. Tom Ridge to speak at Cal U on security

Stephen Huba
| Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, 11:36 a.m.
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge (right) speaks with professional golfer Peter Jacobsen prior to a memorial service for Arnold Palmer on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, at St. Vincent Basilica in Latrobe.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge (right) speaks with professional golfer Peter Jacobsen prior to a memorial service for Arnold Palmer on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, at St. Vincent Basilica in Latrobe.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge will be the keynote speaker Oct. 24 at California University of Pennsylvania's 10th annual Conference on Homeland and International Security.

It will be Ridge's first return visit to Cal U since he gave the 1996 commencement speech there as a first-term governor.

The theme of the conference is “A Community-Based Approach to Fighting Terror Crime,” and Ridge will give an address following the conferral at 11 a.m. of an honorary Doctor of Public Service.

“While we can never repay Gov. Ridge for all he has done and continues to do for Pennsylvania and the United States, it is our hope that this honorary doctorate will serve as a reminder to all that California University truly appreciates his public service,” said Cal U President Geraldine M. Jones.

After 9/11, Ridge left the governor's office to become assistant to the president for Homeland Security. In 2003, he was named the first secretary of Homeland Security when it became a cabinet-level department.

Ridge currently is chairman of Ridge Global LLC, a private security consulting firm.

Cal U's conference is held annually at the Convocation Center and brings together criminal justice experts to discuss security issues. This year's conference will feature several faculty members, including:

• Dr. Michael Hummel, a retired military police officer and an active officer in Charleroi and Monessen.

• Dr. Aref Alkhattar, a Fulbright Specialist and retired law enforcement officer with 17 years of intelligence experience in Jordan.

• Dr. John Cencich, a former senior U.N. war crimes investigator and director of the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences at Cal U.

The conference, a program of the university's department of criminal justice, is free and open to the public. Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Convocation Center lobby.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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