Speaking to the World
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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 ^
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.
"Col. Bogdanos was GREAT!!! He is such a wonderful speaker and I am so pleased and happy with how the program went. His pictures were AMAZING! Thank you so much and be sure to thank him for me. He was a great speaker and the students all thought he was extremely gracious and enthusiastic. I will definitely recommend him to our neighboring campuses. Thanks again."
"Thank you for providing the commencement address for Louisiana State University at Alexandria. I have attended many commencements over my years in higher education and I had never seen a speaker receive a standing ovation before. You delivered a powerful message that was well received by our graduates and families."
"Col. Bogdanos was easy going, wonderful to work with, and is a phenomenal speaker! His presentation exceeded all our expectations and the audience had a great time. (And, oh my, did they buy books!) And thanks to you for all the work you’ve done. Not only was Col. Bogdanos an outstanding addition to our line-up of speakers, but the APB Speaker’s Bureau has been great to work with as well."
"I would like to thank Colonel Bogdanos very much for his presentation at the Morning Forum yesterday. As we are sure he could tell from the audience reaction, he was a big hit. Many people came up to us afterwards or have called to tell us how much they enjoyed his talk and his photos. It is always inspiring to hear not only a good speaker but one who is enthused about the topic and able to convey that feeling to the audience. We really appreciated his appearance."
"Bravo! We could not have asked for more of him during his time with us in Virginia. Before the lecture, he was calm, professional, and prepared. During his lecture, he was charismatic, eloquent, accessible, yet erudite. After the lecture, he was gracious, friendly, and warm. As organizer of the lecture series, I could not be more pleased."
"Well of course he was absolutely superb. He really delivers a tight, well-constructed talk and the slides he has selected are wonderful—mostly because he not only shows the fantastic works of art, but also scenes of the Iraqis and soldiers and Marines he worked with. He really did personalize the presentation and we got to know so many people and I saw so many objects from my Art History class!"
"I wanted to take a moment to thank Col. Bogdanos for his visit to CNU. At this point, I have stopped counting how many times students from the seminar and audience members from the public lectures have come up to me to express their gratitude for his presentations and contributions to the humanities—he made quite an impression. On a more personal note, it was a genuine honor and pleasure to have met him and I look forward to following his continued success in recovering stolen antiquities and to seeing the movie based on his work. Best of luck and thanks, once again."
"The Bogdanos program was fabulous—members were calling it “one of our best.” There were more male guests than usual and they, too, were very complimentary. Our audience seldom gives standing ovations and Colonel Bogdanos received a very enthusiastic one. I am guessing the audience was 325-350. The Colonel’s photos were good and he chose the right number to illustrate his presentation. As you probably know, he prefers to present from the floor moving around among the audience, and that delivery was very effective."
"We could not have been happier with a speaker. He was warm, gracious, extremely funny, and of course knowledgeable about a very interesting subject matter. Wednesday morning, he darkened the Capitol Theatre and presented a captivating lecture with slide show while strolling the front corridors. At lunch he was animated, engaging, informative, and traversed the room yet again. Col. Bogdanos is a talented speaker and was very well received. I would be happy to highly recommend him to anyone interested. I always enjoy working with you. Thanks to you and your staff on coordinating another successful lecture."
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