ROLAND BURRIS' LIFETIME ACCOMPLISHMENTS Roland Burris graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Burris won a scholarship as an exchange student to study International Law at the University of Hamburg in Germany. He speaks German. Burris was the first African American national bank examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department. He traveled throughout the Midwest, examining banks in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Burris was the first African American vice president at Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company (now Bank of America), serving as tax accountant, tax consultant, commercial banking officer, and vice-president. Burris was appointed to the governor's cabinet as director of the Department of Central Management Services, where he saved the state millions of dollars by implementing efficiency systems. Burris was national executive director and chief operating officer for Operation PUSH Burris was the first African American elected to statewide office in Illinois, when he became comptroller in 1978. He served in that office until his election as Illinois Attorney General in 1990. While serving as state comptroller, Roland Burris produced the first financial statement for Illinois in accordance to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. He served as president of the National Association of Comptrollers, as well as president of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Government Accounting Standards Board, which became a part of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Burris served as a Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation Board from 1991 to 1994. He led the effort before the U.S. Congress to create a Comptroller for the U.S. Government, which became the number four spot in the Office of Management and Budget. Burris also served three years on the executive board as a Trustee of the Government Finance Office Association of the United States and Canada. He was elected as the first non-CPA to the board of directors of the Illinois CPA Society. Burris was the first African American attorney general for the state of Illinois, where he supervised over 500 lawyers. He was the second African American elected attorney general in the U.S. He is one of the state's highest vote getters. As the Democratic nominee for attorney general, Burris supported abortion rights and broader rights for gay men and lesbians, unlike his Republican opponent, Jim Ryan. As attorney general, Burris organized Chicago's first Gun Turn-in Day in 1993, which became a model program. A former handgun owner himself, he became an advocate for a national handgun ban. Under Burris' leadership as attorney general, Illinois had the toughest anti-stalker law in the nation. He also wrote an opinion concluding the state's anti-stalking law was gender-neutral and declared it could be used to prosecute pro-life advocates who offer information to women outside abortion centers. Burris championed the referendum for a Victim's Rights Amendment to the Illinois Constitution. It won overwhelming voter approval. Burris formed a Women's Advisory Commission and appointed a full-time staff member to train law enforcers, clerks and prosecutors to treat victims of domestic violence and abuse with consistency. Burris was the state's first attorney general to win legislative approval to establish a statewide grand jury to prosecute intrastate “kingpin” drug dealers, after 20 years of trying by previous attorneys general.
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