A Conversation with Kevin McAleenan

February 4, 2013

Kevin K. McAleenan assumed the position of Acting Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) on December 31, 2011. Mr. McAleenan previously served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) since July 2010. OFO is the largest component in CBP and is responsible for securing the U.S. border at ports of entry while expediting lawful trade and travel. In this capacity, Mr. McAleenan is responsible for overseeing CBP’s antiterrorism, immigration, anti-smuggling, trade compliance, and agriculture protection operations at 20 major field offices, 331 ports of entry, and 70 locations in over 40 countries internationally, with a staff of more than 28,000 employees, and an operating budget of over $3.5 billion.

As Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Mr. McAleenan was particularly involved in the development of CBP’s Advanced Air Cargo Screening (ACAS) program, the development of CBP’s new trade agenda, and efforts to optimize management of resources though business process transformation and modeling.  Prior to assuming these two positions with CBP Field Operations, Mr. McAleenan served in several leadership capacities at CBP and the former U.S. Customs Service. In the aftermath of September 11th, Mr. McAleenan played an integral role in the development and implementation of CBP’s antiterrorism strategy.  In August 2003, Mr. McAleenan was named Director, Office of Anti-Terrorism, where he was responsible for ensuring that CBP maximized its antiterrorism efforts with regard to CBP’s border security mission, and within the Federal law enforcement community, national intelligence community, and homeland security structure. There he coordinated the establishment of CBP-wide antiterrorism policy directives, including procedures for responding to encounters with potential terrorists seeking to enter the United States, and protocols for resolving radiation detection alarms, as well as the development of CBP’s incident management and operations coordination capabilities.

From 2006 to 2008, Mr. McAleenan served as the Area Port Director, Los Angeles International Airport where he managed more than 1,000 employees and directed CBP’s border security operations at LAX and 17 other airport facilities that screened 9 million passengers and over 1.5 million cargo shipments annually. Mr. McAleenan received a Service to America Medal, Call to Service Award, in 2005 and was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2006. Prior to his government service, McAleenan practiced law in California. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School after earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, from Amherst College.

Listen to complete interview.



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