AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts alumnus James K. Kallstrom will be the Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar in Residence at UMass Mon. Oct. 2 - Wed. Oct. 4. The highlight of his visit will be a public lecture titled "Combating Crime in America: Then (1970 – 1990) and Now (1990 – 2010)," Tues. Oct. 3, 4-5 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Following the lecture, Kallstrom will be honored by University officials, and will be presented with the Eleanor Bateman Award by Chancellor David K. Scott.
The former assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York division, Kallstrom was for many years one of the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement officers. He is perhaps best known for having led the investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800.
Kallstrom was born in 1943 in Worcester, Mass., and grew up there, attending local public schools. The son of a big band trumpet player, Kallstrom worked his way through UMass, where he was a cook at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, a flower deliveryman, and a summer "rent-a-cop" on Cape Cod. After graduating from UMass in 1966, he entered the United States Marine Corps, where he earned the rank of captain and eventually served in Vietnam during some of the worst fighting of the war.
Upon returning to civilian life, Kallstrom joined the FBI, becoming a special agent in 1970. That same year, he was assigned to the Baltimore, Md. division of the bureau, and a year later, in 1971, he received a prestigious transfer to the FBI’s office in New York.
During the next 26 years Kallstrom was repeatedly promoted to increasingly more prominent positions in the FBI. In 1976, he assumed supervisory duties in the New York office, and in 1981 he was appointed chief of the special operations branch there, a position he held until 1990.
In late 1990, Kallstrom was promoted to section chief of the engineering section, technical services division, and was transferred again, this time to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he returned once more to New York, where he was promoted to the position of special agent in charge of the special operations division. The special operations division is responsible for technical and surveillance operations in support of all FBI investigative programs.
Kallstrom was promoted to the position of assistant director in charge, New York division, a position he held until his retirement on Dec. 31, 1997. The position of assistant director in charge of New York is the senior investigative position in the FBI, making Kallstrom in effect the chief director of the FBI.
Kallstrom is currently a senior executive vice president with MBNA America located in Wilmington, Delaware. He also serves as a law enforcement consultant with CBS News.
During his visit to UMass, Kallstrom will meet with students and faculty and will address a variety of classes, including several in the criminal justice program of the sociology department.
His lecture and awards presentation on Oct. 3 are free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception from 5-6 p.m. in Memorial Hall. In November, UMass alumna Marjorie Blanchard, motivational speaker, trainer, and co-author of "The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life," will be honored as the second Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar in Residence of the year.
NOTE: Kallstrom will be available to the press 2:30-3:15 p.m. Tues., Oct. 3 in the Bateman Suite in Van Meter Residence Hall on campus. For information contact Michele Girard-Basora at 413/545-2317 or Steven Beeber at 413/545-2988.