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Center on the American Governor > Interview with John Farmer, Jr.

Interview with John Farmer, Jr.

John Farmer is a University Professor at Rutgers and former dean of the University’s School of Law–Newark . He joined the administration of Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1994, serving as assistant counsel, deputy chief counsel, and then chief counsel. From 1999-2002 he was New Jersey attorney general. Among his noteworthy accomplishments, he argued school funding and criminal justice matters before the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; moved forward with reform of the New Jersey State Police, from eliminating racial profiling to increasing diversity in recruitment and promotion; created the Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of official impropriety and/or corruption; and served as the first chairman of the New Jersey Domestic Preparedness Task Force, leading the coordination of the state’s law enforcement and victim/witness response to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

From 2003-2004, Farmer served as senior counsel and team leader for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (commonly known as the 9/11 Commission). In that position he led the investigation of the country’s preparedness for and response to the terrorist attacks and was a principal author of the Commission’s final report. His book, The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11, a reconsideration of the government’s 9/11 response in light of its response to Hurricane Katrina, was published by Riverhead/Penguin Press.


Interview on October 17, 2014Transcript available here (pdf)