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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 23, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 35
Secret Service Veteran Named to Head Homewood Security

Ed Skrodzki

By Dennis O'Shea

You might not think that protecting a president is much like securing a campus.

But if that's what you think, Ed Skrodzki thinks you're wrong. "It's a good fit for me," said Skrodzki, a Secret Service veteran appointed last week as the next executive director of safety and security at Homewood. "At the Secret Service, our institutional culture is one of prevention. We take a proactive approach to our protective and criminal investigative responsibilities.

"When I spoke to President Brody, it was clear to me that he recognizes the need to view Security as a dynamic, evolving department that needs to look into the future and be proactive."

Skrodzki will join the university on June 26, succeeding Ron Mullen, who is retiring after 13 years at Johns Hopkins and a career that included previous service as deputy police commissioner in Baltimore.

"I feel very fortunate to replace a person of Ron's high caliber and to continue the work that he has done," Skrodzki said. "I'm looking forward to working with the administration, faculty, staff, students and parents to make the university an even safer place."

Skrodzki is retiring from the Secret Service after 22 years in which he has served, among other positions, as a special agent in the Presidential Protection Division, assistant to the special agent in charge in New York and inspector. Since 2001, he has been special agent in charge in Baltimore, an office whose territory includes all of Maryland except Montgomery and Prince George's counties. In that role, he supervises overall security at Camp David and oversees not only protection but also investigation of such crimes as counterfeiting, identity theft, forgery of financial instruments, credit card fraud and computer fraud.

His first assignment with the Secret Service, in 1983, was also in Baltimore, where previously he had served for six years as a city police officer.

"I could have retired [from the Secret Service] two years ago, but I was in no rush to leave," Skrodzki said. "But this interested me so much because I could use so many aspects of my skills."

James T. McGill, senior vice president for finance and administration, said that the university leaders who interviewed Skrodzki found him remarkably attuned to the kinds of issues he will face at Homewood.

"We were impressed by his unremitting dedication to the highest quality of service," McGill said. "We also were impressed by his skill in communication and his understanding of the important role it plays in safety and security, especially in a university environment."

Skrodzki was assigned to the Presidential Protective Division during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, filling the key roles of lead advance agent or site advance agent on domestic trips and on visits to Japan, France, Turkey, Russia, Poland and Brazil.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to work with two different presidents, two different personalities, two very different security challenges," Skrodzki said. President Clinton, for instance, was fond of running on the National Mall. Skrodzki surveyed and set up several routes around the Washington Monument to give the president variety, and was always ready to adjust when the president diverted from the pre-set routes.

"On that job, failure is not an option," he said. "It can seem overwhelming. But I approached it methodically, analyzing all the contingencies and taking it one step at a time. To me, it was exciting. I found the challenges invigorating."

Skrodzki is a 1976 graduate of the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York and earned a master of science degree in criminal justice at the University of Baltimore in 1987. Though he grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., he said he has spent so much time in Baltimore that he, his wife and two children consider it home.


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