President’s Office

John R. Kroger

President, Reed College


Harvard Law School
JD, magna cum laude, 1996
Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellow in Anglo-American Legal History
Kaufman Public Interest Law Fellow

Yale University
MA in Philosophy, 1990

Yale College
BA with Distinction, Philosophy, magna cum laude, 1990
Harry S. Truman Scholar
National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Scholar
Thesis: “Being as Primordial Temporality in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit


Reed College, President
Serve as chief executive officer of liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon with a student body of approximately 1,400 and annual budget of more than $120 million. During tenure, raised applications by over 95%; increased selectivity; significantly improved faculty and student diversity; completed last phase of $200 million capital campaign and raised over $85 million in cash received plus over $6 million in pledges; completed construction of new Performing Arts building; added new majors in computer science, neuroscience, dance, and comparative literature; decreased class size and student-faculty ratio; dramatically expanded financial aid; and significantly improved graduate employment outcomes. Serve as board member of Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the seven-state accreditation organization. Maintained college Aa2 bond rating and received Forbes Magazine A+ rating for financial strength. (2012-present)

Attorney General of Oregon
Served as Oregon's top law enforcement and legal officer and leader of state Department of Justice. Managed department of over 1,200 attorneys, investigators, and staff, with annual budget of more than $200 million. Successfully argued Premo v. Moore and Camreta v. Greene before the United States Supreme Court. Created new units to protect civil rights, prosecute environmental crime, and combat mortgage fraud. Launched administrative reforms that saved $11 million. Diversified senior management team. Elected in November 2008 after winning the nominations of both the Democratic and Republican parties and carrying all 36 of Oregon's counties. (2009–12)

Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, Chair
Served as chair of state body composed of addiction experts, health care professionals, treatment providers, law enforcement, and elected officials charged with overseeing and reforming the state's treatment and prevention programs. (2009–12)

Lewis & Clark Law School, Associate Professor (tenured)
Taught courses on criminal law and jurisprudence. Received Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Served on law school budget, curriculum, and admissions committees. Helped develop successful proposals to diversify faculty. On leave during the 2002–03 and 2009–12 academic years to serve on Enron Task Force and as Attorney General. (2002–12)

Enron Task Force, United States Department of Justice, Trial Attorney
Supervised grand jury investigation of Enron Corp's telecommunications division, resulting in the criminal conviction for fraud of the division's two co-CEOs and COO. Assisted with investigations of Enron Chairman Ken Lay and Enron's manipulation of the California energy market. (2002–03)

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Lead Counsel in more than 200 federal criminal cases involving racketeering, violent crimes, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, and white collar offenses. Assisted with emergency criminal investigations of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and crash of American Airlines Flight 587. Served as lead or co-counsel in United States v. Persico (boss of organized crime family convicted of racketeering); United States v. Scarpa (capo in organized crime family convicted of racketeering and four counts of conspiracy to commit murder after 5-week jury trial); United States v. Rodriguez (manager of international narcotics ring convicted of shipping over one ton of cocaine from Mexico to New York after five-week jury trial); and United States v. Martinez (prison manager convicted of accepting bribes from organized crime members after three-week jury trial). Briefed and argued ten appeals before the U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Received Director's Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney and three Special Act Awards. (1997–2001)

Yale University, Visiting Lecturer
Taught college seminar on "Presidential Elections, 1948 to the Present," while serving as full-time federal prosecutor. (1997, 1999)

Hon. Judge Anthony Scirica, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Judicial Clerk
Assisted federal appellate judge in adjudication of appeals. Responsibilities included analysis of incoming cases, writing bench memoranda, and drafting opinions. (1996–97)

Harvard University, Teaching Assistant
Taught 20-person section of college course on the philosophy of property rights. Awarded Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. (1995–96)

U.S. Department of Treasury, Senior Policy Analyst
Advised senior Treasury officials in economic, budget, and finance policy. Helped develop Clinton administration initiatives on community development banks, interstate banking, and bank regulatory relief. Wrote speeches for Secretary Bentsen and Deputy Secretary Altman. (1993)

Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition, Senior Domestic Policy Advisor
Directed 20-person task force on reinventing government that developed proposals to create the National Performance Review, reduced the federal work force, and cut administrative costs. Advised the President-elect on budget, crime, urban policy, and education issues. Supervised legal team that drafted executive orders on crime and government reform. (November I992–February 1993)

Clinton/Gore '92, Deputy Policy Director
Wrote approximately 300 memoranda on politics and policy. Advised the candidates on economics, crime, the environment, government reform, urban development, and agriculture. Wrote speeches and position papers. Drafted outline for 1992 Democratic Party platform. Traveled with Senator Gore as policy adviser and speech writer. Advised Senator Gore on debate strategy. (1991-1992)

Speaker of the House Thomas Foley, Legislative Assistant
Advised the Speaker on domestic policy and legislative strategy. Served as the Speaker's liaison to Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Public Works Committees. (1991)

U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, Legislative Assistant
Advised Congressman on pending legislation. Conceived and drafted legislation passed by the House concerning trade in financial services, U.S./Japan defense arrangements, cable television regulation, NASA contracting reform, and the accounting and public reporting of costs and allied burden-sharing associated with Operation Desert Storm. Supervised constituent mail operation. (1990–91)

Military Service

United States Marine Corps, Non-Commissioned Officer
Served in Marine Reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering and special operations unit. Awards included Marine of the quarter, Meritorious Mast, Good Conduct Medal. Honorably Discharged. (1983–86)

Bar Membership

Oregon, admitted December 19, 2007
Connecticut, admitted January 5, 1997
U.S. Supreme Court, admitted October 4, 2010
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, admitted November 16, 2009
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, admitted July 14, 1999
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, admitted July 21, 1997


Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (2008). Winner of the Oregon Book Award, 2009


"The Prosecution of Environmental Crimes in Oregon: An Interview with Attorney General John Kroger"
26 Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation 493 (2011)

"Remarks: Enron and Multi-Jurisdictional Fraud"
28 Cardozo Law Review 1657 (2007).

"Enron, Fraud and Securities Reform: An Enron Prosecutor’s Perspective"
76 University of Colorado Law Review 57 (2005).

"The Philosophical Foundations of Roman Law: Aristotle, The Stoics, and Roman Theories of Natural Law"
2004 Wisconsin Law Review 905 (2004).

"Supreme Court Equity, 1789–1835, and the History of American Judging"
34 Houston Law Review 1425 (1998).

"The Confrontation Waiver Rule"
76 Boston University Law Review 835 (1996).

"The Politics of Crime" (Co-authored)
35 Harvard Journal on Legislation 527 (1996).

Selected Presentations

“The Future of Miranda,” Washington University Law School (October 19, 2011)
“The Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act,” United States Senate Judiciary Committee (February 2, 2011)
“Prosecuting Justice,” Harvard Law School (October 25, 2010)
“The Public Sector Career,” Columbia Law School (May 2, 2010)
“Allocating Prosecutorial Power,” New York University (April 23, 2010)
“Oregon’s Methamphetamine Strategy,” U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control (April 13, 2010)
“Prosecutorial Ethics,” Pope and John Lecturer on Professionalism, Northwestern Law School (September 29, 2009)
“On Public Service,” Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker, Harvard Law School (April 7, 2009)


Married to Michele L. Toppe, Dean of Student Life, Portland State University. One son, Isaiah, born in 1999, attends a high school in Portland.

Contact Us

Dawn Thompson
Executive Assistant to
the President

Telephone: 503/777-7500
Fax: 503/777-7701

Liz Colie Gadberry
Presidential Events Manager