A seasoned professional with more than 30 years of experience, Hon. Richard Bender Abell’s career in law and politics began after he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs from George Washington University in 1966. He then volunteered with the Peace Corps in Colombia and served in U.S. Army before attending law school in 1971. In 1974, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence from George Washington University, was admitted to practice by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and became an associate at Reilly & Fogwell in West Chester, PA. During this time he also served as the assistant district attorney of Chester County, PA. He then served as the deputy sheriff of Chester County from 1976 to 1978. He briefly served as a staff member to U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker in Washington, DC from 1979 to 1980 and then became the director of the Office of Program Development at the Peace Corps from 1981 to 1983. From 1983 to 1990, he served as the deputy assistant attorney general and then the assistant attorney general in the Office of Justice Program at the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1991, he became a special trial judge and special master in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, holding this position until his retirement in 2010. He also briefly served as a member of the policy board of the American Civil Rights Union from 2010 to 2013.
In addition to his primary appointments throughout his career, Hon. Abell has also been a member of several professional committees, boards and organizations. He was active on the board of directors of Federal Prison Industries, Inc., was the chairman of the National Crime Prevention Coalition, co-chairman of the advisory committee for the National Center for State and Local Law Enforcement Training, and vice chairman of the research and development review board for the U.S. Department of Justice. Hon. Abell also extended his expertise as part of the adjunct faculty at West Chester University and at Delaware Law School at Widener University. Civically, Hon. Abell has been active in his community as the commissioner of the President’s Commission on Agricultural Workers, the chairman of the Young Republican National Federation, and as a member of various local boards, including the executive committee of the Republican National Committee.
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