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Deputy Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski


Thomas S. Winkowski has been serving as Deputy Commissioner and chief operating officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection since January, 2012. He served as Acting Commissioner of CBP between March 30, 2013 and March 7, 2014.

The Deputy Commissioner has filled various positions of leadership during his 38-year career with CBP and its predecessor agencies. As the Acting Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Winkowski oversaw daily operations and management of an operating budget of more than $11.5 billion, focusing on the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations.

From 2007 through 2011, Mr. Winkowski served as Assistant Commissioner in CBP’s Office of Field Operations, where he managed the largest organization in CBP, overseeing nearly 28,000 employees and an operating budget of $3.5 billion. As Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Winkowski was responsible for operations at 20 major field offices, 328 Ports of Entry, 58 operational Container Security Initiative ports, and 15 preclearance stations in Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean. During his tenure, Mr. Winkowski developed CBP field operations into a world-class law enforcement organization by extending the scope of operations around the globe and by modernizing port-related activities.

He has been a champion for innovation, including high technology solutions, such as inspection imaging systems, radiation portal monitors, and biometrics; for intelligence-driven operations through the establishment of two world-renowned National Targeting Centers for passengers and cargo; and for the extension of security operations beyond physical borders through international and stakeholder partnerships.

Mr. Winkowski served as Director of Field Operations in Miami from 2002–2007, managing more than 2,000 employees. There he oversaw all of CBP’s inspectional operations at Miami International Airport, Miami Seaport, Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale International Airport, West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce and Key West.

From 1999–2002, Mr. Winkowski was Miami’s Port Director. Previously, he was Port Director at Los Angeles International Airport, one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs. He was Assistant District Director in Los Angeles from 1986 until 1995, after rising through the ranks and holding several mission-critical positions at headquarters.

Mr. Winkowski joined the U.S. Customs Service in 1975 as a cooperative education student. Upon graduating from Boston’s Northeastern University in 1978, he was assigned to Los Angeles where he became a Customs Inspector.

Mr. Winkowski was awarded the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award by President Bush in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award by President Obama.