Carl Hawkinson will discuss his work in public service as the inaugural speaker in the Knox College Civic Leaders Lecture Series. Hawkinson will speak at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, in Ferris Lounge, Seymour Union.
Hawkinson’s long and distinguished career includes service as Knox County state’s attorney, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate and as the state’s deputy chief of staff for public safety.
The new Civic Leaders Lecture Series will highlight practical lessons from experienced leaders and promote the importance of civic engagement. Future speakers will discuss volunteerism, community research, and political involvement.
Hawkinson began his career in public service as Knox County State’s Attorney, from 1976 to 1983. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives for two terms, from 1983 to 1987, then as State Senator from 1987 to 2003. He served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was credited with legislation combating terrorism and drug trafficking, reforming the state criminal code and juvenile justice code, writing one of the first anti-stalking laws in the nation, and protecting the privacy of genetic testing information. Following an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2002, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety for the State of Illinois, directing all of the state’s homeland security operations.
After his retirement in 2005, he returned to service as the Interim Director of the Western Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, spearheading a successful campaign to pay off the building mortgage.
A native of Galesburg, Hawkinson is a graduate of North Park College, summa cum laude; and Harvard Law School, magna cum laude. In 2003, he was recognized as a Champion for Balanced and Restorative Justice by the Juvenile Justice Summit, and in 2004 he received the Human Dignity Award from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.