Office of Chief Counsel
Chief Counsel Scott K. Falk
The Chief Counsel, Scott K. Falk, is the chief legal officer of CBP and reports to the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security through the Assistant General Counsel, Borders and Transportation Security. The Chief Counsel serves as the Ethics Officer for the organization and is the principal legal advisor to the CBP commissioner and its officers.
The Office of the Chief Counsel provides legal advice to, and legal representation of, CBP officers in matters relating to the activities and functions of CBP. The office is also responsible for reviewing proposed actions to ensure compliance with legal requirements, preparing formal legal opinions, preparing or reviewing responses in all court actions, civil or criminal, involving CBP, and developing, implementing, and evaluating nationwide programs, policies, and procedures within its functional areas.
The office has both a headquarters and a field structure. The headquarters office is located in Washington, D.C. and its activities are divided broadly into three functional areas: Ethics, Labor and Employment, Enforcement, and Trade and Finance, under the supervision of Associate Chief Counsels. The field structure consists of Associate and Assistant Chief Counsels located in major cities across the U.S. who advise CBP field managers in their geographic areas.
Office of Non-Government Organization Liaison
The Non-Government Office (NGO) Liaison is the agency’s principal liaison to non-governmental organizations to include faith-based and advocacy groups. Responsibilities of the NGO Liaison include facilitating dialogue on behalf of CBP to the NGO community in close collaboration with DHS components, and other federal agencies as appropriate. Formalizing this position is a critical step toward building and enhancing the agency’s relationship with this important community.
Questions, issues or concerns should be forwarded to the NGO Liaison at NGOLiaison@cbp.dhs.gov.
Office of Policy and Planning
The Office of Policy and Planning, headed by Benjamin E. Webb, Executive Director, is responsible for assisting CBP leadership in defining and advancing U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission priorities through the effective development, review and implementation of key policy and planning initiatives.
In partnership and coordination and with other CBP offices, the Department of Homeland Security and other governmental agencies, the office develops policy, provides oversight of the CBP policy function and ensures a common framework and alignment to CBP strategic intent. This team acts as the commissioner’s executive agent for CBP policy and aligns CBP policy across offices. Additionally, in collaboration with other CBP offices, the office promotes an integrated approach toward strategic planning for CBP by formalizing the use of the planning, programming, budgeting, and accountability process to align out-year planning with budget priorities.
Office of State, Local and Tribal Liaison
The CBP State, Local and Tribal Liaison is responsible for advising the commissioner, deputy commissioner and program offices on the impact of CBP policies and initiatives with regard to state, local and tribal stakeholders.
To accomplish this mission, the liaison office strives to maintain open communication and build effective relationships with state, local and tribal governments. The office assists these stakeholders through regular, transparent and proactive communication by maintaining partnerships through active outreach.
State, local and tribal governmental issues regarding border security and trade facilitation can be referred to the Office of State, Local and Tribal Liaison.
Office of Trade Relations
The Office of Trade Relations, headed by Senior Advisor for Trade Maria Luisa Boyce, is responsible for managing CBP’s outreach and communications with the international trade community. The office ensures that the trade community and the public understand that trade is an integral part of CBP’s mission: making America safer, stronger, more prosperous, and economically competitive.
The office's mission is to continually improve relations between CBP and the trade community by enhancing collaboration, cooperation, and inform decision making at all levels including operational, legislative, and political. The office also is responsible for organizing and presenting formal CBP outreach efforts to the trade community, including CBP’s annual Trade Symposium, monthly trade day meetings, trade roundtable meetings, and webinars.
The office manages the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC), a congressionally mandated trade advisory group. Finally, the office is the designated regulatory fairness representative for the agency with responsibility for promoting compliance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
Privacy and Diversity Office
The Privacy and Diversity Office is headed by Executive Director Franklin C. Jones. The Privacy and Diversity Office (PDO) is responsible for developing and implementing the policies, procedures and internal controls necessary to: Create a culture of privacy by ensuring and safeguarding all personally identifiable information (PII) pursuant to the Privacy Act; processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests; ensure that CBP respects and protects the civil rights and civil liberties of the trade and traveling public; comply with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requirements; receive and process equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints filed by applicants and current CBP employees; advance CBP’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives; and to ensure compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).