AnnMarie R. Highsmith is the Executive Assistant Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, where she leads more than 1,000 employees and the enforcement of over 500 U.S. trade laws and 14 free trade agreements to enhance U.S. economic prosperity. In collaboration with 49 partner government agencies, she oversees the facilitation of over $3 trillion in legitimate trade each year as well as seven priority trade issues, while protecting the American economy and American consumers from unsafe and unfair trade practices including intellectual property rights violations, forced labor, duty evasion, misclassification, environmental trade crimes, and trade-based money laundering through risk-based, data driven enforcement.
EAC Highsmith leads the Office of Trade at a time when the value and volume of trade in the United States is at a record high. Under her leadership, CBP has successfully implemented the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and launched the Green Trade Strategy setting global standards for more humane and sustainable global supply chains. She is a champion of efforts to increase resiliency, diversity, and inclusion in the Office of Trade workforce.
Ms. Highsmith served as Deputy Chief Counsel for CBP from 2013 to 2021, where she was the chief operating officer of one of the premier legal offices in government, managing and directing a staff of 400 legal professionals in 31 offices nationwide. In 2020, as Acting Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, she provided effective leadership to the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She joined the Senior Executive Service in 2006 as the Associate Chief Counsel (Trade and Finance) for CBP, serving as the principal legal advisor on all matters involving customs laws as they impact international trade. Ms. Highsmith hails from California, beginning her legal career in 1992 as a Staff Attorney with the U.S. Customs Service at the Office of the Regional Counsel in Long Beach.
She earned her law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine in 1988. She is a graduate of the Harvard Senior Managers in Government program, and 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award.