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Matthew  Bogdanos

Matthew Bogdanos

US Marine Officer & Author, Thieves of Baghdad


Versatile and accomplished, Matthew Bogdanos is a homicide prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney's Office, where he has been an Assistant District Attorney since 1988. In addition, he was a colonel in the Marine Reserves and a middleweight boxer. He also has a degree in classics from Bucknell University, a law degree and a master's degree in Classical Studies from Columbia University, and a master's degree from the Army War College. Read More >

After losing his apartment near the World Trade Center after 9/11, he was recalled to active duty, where he led a multi-agency task force in Afghanistan and received a Bronze Star, obtaining intelligence on 11 of the “Top 25” Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders in the War on Terrorism. Then appointed Deputy Director, Bogdanos led that interagency task force into Iraq in March 2003 to search for evidence of terrorist cells, UN Security Council Resolution violations, and terrorist financing.

In April 2003, he began the investigation into the looting of Baghdad’s Iraq Museum, resulting in the recovery of over 5,000 antiquities in six countries. He is the recipient of a 2005 National Humanities Medal for his work recovering Iraq’s treasures, and the author of Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine's Passion to Recover the World's Greatest Stolen Treasures, in which all royalties from the book go to the Museum.

While previously in the Marines, Bogdanos had been appointed a Special Assistant US Attorney. After being released from active duty, he rose to Senior Homicide Trial Counsel in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, participating in almost 200 trials, including the prosecution of 15-year-old “Baby-Faced Butchers” Daphne Abdela and Christopher Vazquez for their 1997 grisly Central Park murder, and rappers Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and Jamal “Shyne” Barrows for their 1999 shootout.

Remaining in the Marine Reserves, he was recalled to Desert Storm, serving as an infantry battalion Executive Officer. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1998, he served in South Korea, Lithuania, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kosovo.

Returning to Iraq for the transition to sovereignty, he was assigned to the National Defense University to develop the US government’s first executive-branch-wide, operational-level interagency training program in addition to his counter-terrorism duties.

Released back into the Reserves in October 2005, he returned to the New York County District Attorney’s Office and continues the hunt for Iraq’s stolen antiquities. He has been published in legal, military, and classical journals (recently being included in a book covering the two dozen “great opening and closing arguments of the last 100 years”), was named an Easter Seals Distinguished Participant in 2001, and received the Hellenic Lawyers Association Public Service Award in 2004.

Bogdanos is a remarkable blend of warrior, historian, and leader who tells an engrossing story abundant with history and resplendent with hope for the future. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Thieves of Baghdad: The Journey to Recover the World's Greatest Stolen Treasures

Designed to separate myth from reality, the presentation will explore the investigation into the theft and looting of the Iraq Museum in those fateful days in April of 2003. From the creation of the U.S. government's first multi-agency task force ever deployed to a war zone (in the frozen hills of Afghanistan) to that team's recovery more than one year later of over 5000 of history's most priceless antiquities in eight countries. Combining a lecture with hundreds of photographs, it will also expose the flourishing black market in stolen antiquities and address the future of international efforts to stop the smugglers.

The Leadership Life: Taking Charge of Your Mission to Lead

The Treasures that We Inherit & The Value of Art

Consensual Leadership: The Art of Teambuilding

Books & Media


Thieves of Baghdad