A U.S. Justice Department official who is a Lawrence High School alumnus will speak Thursday at a meeting of the Lawrence Schools Foundation.
Kannon Shanmugam, assistant to the U.S. solicitor general in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker for the foundation's fifth annual Community Education Breakfast.
The breakfast will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive.
Shanmugam is a 1989 LHS graduate. His parents - Sam, an engineering professor at Kansas University, and Radha Shanmugan - live in Lawrence.
During a 2004 interview with the Journal-World, Shanmugam praised his hometown.
"I can't imagine a better place to grow up than Lawrence, Kansas," he said. "I had a wonderful childhood and a terrific education. I feel I owe a lot to my teachers because without them, I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had."
In his position with the solicitor general's office, Shanmugam has been involved in some high-profile cases. Among them was Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, when the Supreme Court overturned the Enron accounting firm's conviction of obstruction of justice.
Before taking his current position, Shanmugam was with the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.
There he worked with former independent counsel Kenneth Starr during a Starr-led challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 before the Supreme Court.
Starr is best known as the special prosecutor whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Clinton.
In 1990, Shanmugam served as a summer intern for Chief Judge Deanell Tacha of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tacha has said Shanmugam "has the kind of legal, analytical and interpersonal abilities that will almost assuredly make him a leader of his generation. There's no question in my mind."
Shanmugam also has served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
He has bachelor's and law degrees from Harvard University, and a master's degree in classics from Oxford University.