Kevin K. McAleenan was named deputy commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske effective November 2, 2014. As such, he becomes the chief operating official of the 60,000-employee border agency. McAleenan served as acting deputy commissioner since March 30, 2013.
Previously, McAleenan served as the acting assistant commissioner of the CBP Office of Field Operations, leading the agency’s port security and facilitation operations. He was named to the position December 31, 2011. He previously served as deputy assistant commissioner, Office of Field Operations between July 2010 and December 2011. 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. With OFO, McAleenan was responsible for overseeing CBP’s antiterrorism, immigration, anti-smuggling, trade compliance, and agriculture protection operations at 20 major field offices, 329 ports of entry, and 70 international locations in more than 40 countries. He administered a staff of more than 28,000 employees, and an operating budget of more than $3.5 billion.
As deputy assistant commissioner, McAleenan was particularly involved in the development of CBP’s Advanced Air Cargo Screening 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 positions with CBP Field Operations, McAleenan served in several leadership capacities at CBP and the former U.S. Customs Service. In the aftermath of September 11th, McAleenan played an integral role in the development and implementation of CBP’s antiterrorism strategy. In August 2003, 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. He coordinated the establishment of CBP-wide antiterrorism policy directives, including procedures for responding to encounters with potential terrorists seeking to enter the U.S., 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, 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. Combined the facilities screened 9 million passengers and more than 1.5 million cargo shipments annually.
McAleenan received the DHS Secretary’s Award (Silver Medal) for Meritorious Service in 2014 and the Service to America Medal, Call to Service Award, in 2005. He 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.