R. Gil Kerlikowske was nominated by President Obama and sworn in on March 7, 2014 as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection taking the helm of the 60,000-employee agency with a budget of $12.4 billion.
Mr. Kerlikowske oversees the dual U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission of protecting national security objectives while promoting economic prosperity and security. As Commissioner, he runs the largest federal law enforcement agency and second largest revenue collecting source in the federal government. Most recently, he served as Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Mr. Kerlikowske brings four decades of law enforcement and drug policy experience to the position. He formerly served nine years as the Chief of Police for Seattle, Washington. When he left, crime was at its lowest point in 40 years.
Previously, he was Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, where he was responsible for more than $6 billion in federal assets. Mr. Kerlikowske was also Police Commissioner of Buffalo, New York. The majority of his law enforcement career was in Florida where he served in the St. Petersburg Police Department.
He was elected twice to be President of the Major Cities Chiefs, which represents the largest city and county law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada. He has received numerous awards and recognition for leadership, innovation, and community service. He served in the U.S. Army where he was awarded the Presidential Service Badge.
Mr. Kerlikowske holds a B.A. and a M.A. in criminal justice from the University of South Florida.