Freeh, also a former federal judge and prosecutor, was introduced at a Monday morning press conference in Philadelphia at which the head of the committee said Freeh will have "complete rein" to conduct the investigation.
"Judge Freeh has led some of the most important investigations of our generation," said Kenneth C. Frazier, a Penn State trustee and appointed chairman of the special investigative committee. "He has been an active member and leader of the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children."
Frazier said Freeh has no ties to the university nor Pennsylvania.
"We have a lot of witnesses, a lot of records and evidence to be examined," Freeh said. "We expect we will have a lot of information to turn over to the public when we're done."
Freeh's investigative team is charged with finding out what happened during the time former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is alleged to have molested young boys, who knew what and when, and what can be done to prevent it from happening in the future.
Frazier said no one is above scrutiny, including the university administration.
Freeh serves as senior managing partner of Free Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP, which has offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Delaware. He is also founder and chairman of Freeh Group International Solutions, an independent investigative consultant group.
Freeh, who couldn't say how long the probe would take, said his team of investigators will include former FBI agents and former prosecutors, some of whom have experience investigating child sex abuse cases.
Frazier said no information about the probe will be relelased until it is completed. Neither Frazier nor Free could say how much the investigation would cost.
They have not released the names of members of the investigative team.
But they did announce members of Frazier's special committee, which is comprised of university trustees, students, faculty and others affiliated with the community. They include:
•Ron Tomalis, secretary of the state Department of Education.
Mark Dambly, president of Pennrose Properties.
•Jesse Arnelle, an attorney.
Keith Eckel, president of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms and board chairman of Nationwide Insurance.
Karen Peetz, Bank of New York Mellon's vice chairman and CEO of financial markets and treasury.
Dan Hagen, chairman of the University Faculty Senate, and a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Rodney Hughes, a Penn State doctoral student.
Dr. Guion Bluford Jr., an engineer, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and former NASA astronaut who participated in four Space Shuttle missions.
The committee has set up a toll-free hotline — 855-290-3382 — for people wishing to provide information relative to the investigation. An e-mail hotline — PSUhelp@freehgroup.com — also was created.