January 24, 2003
Colloquium Speaker: Thomas Ferguson
Mr. Thomas A. Ferguson received his B.A. in Economics from Lafayette College and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He was appointed Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in 1998. Prior to his appointment as Director, Mr. Ferguson had served as the BEP Deputy Director. He had also served as the Bureau's Associate Director providing leadership to the Offices of Security, Procurement, and Human Resources. He also served as the Director of the Securities Technology Institute, and he chaired the New Currency Design Task Force that recommended the security features being incorporated into the new Series 1996 currency. Mr. Ferguson has held a variety of other responsible positions within BEP since his arrival there in 1974.
United States currency circulates around the world and has become in fact the world’s currency. The wide circulation and acceptance of our nation’s currency has made it the fourth primary target of counterfeiters not only in the U.S. but everywhere around the world. Coupled with the desirability of counterfeiting U.S. currency is the rapidly expanding threat posed by advances in reprographic and computer technology. This talk will review the threats posed to the U.S. currency and the efforts underway to protect it, focusing on what has been accomplished today and the efforts underway for the immediate future. It will also deal with emerging and projected threats and the challenges of developing new technologies to counter these threats. The constant challenge remains; how to design a circulating document that must be produced in the billions, be recognized by millions of people that in today’s environment of digital printing technology cannot be reproduced.