February 16, 2017: During a three-decade career in the US Secret Service, New England Law | Boston Trustee John R. Simpson ’64 rose from special agent to become the agency’s 16th director. As director, he served for 11 years under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and his thirty years with the Secret Service spanned seven presidential administrations.
Mr. Simpson, who passed away on February 10, served on the New England Law Board of Trustees and the law school Corporation for more than 20 years and was president of the Corporation from 2009 to 2011. He had previously served as treasurer of the Corporation.
“Trustee Simpson had a remarkable and distinguished career,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Martin C. Foster. “I will miss his warmth and wise counsel. The law school community has lost a devoted graduate, friend, and supporter, and the nation has lost a true patriot and leader.”
An Army veteran, Mr. Simpson began his career in 1962 as a special agent in the Secret Service Boston Field Office. He was also the first American president of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and served as a commissioner of the US Parole Commission.
As director of the Secret Service, Mr. Simpson introduced new computer technology, oversaw the expansion of national and international field offices, and supervised the introduction of new investigative responsibilities.
Among his many awards were the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, the Executive Achievement Award, and the Women in Federal Law Enforcement 1991 Manager of the Year Award for his efforts to diversify the Service; he increased the number of females and minorities by nearly 64 percent.