New U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chicago Area Port Director Introduced at Change of Command Ceremony
CHICAGO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chicago Area Port Director Matthew S. Davies was formally sworn into office on Friday, February 22, during a CBP Chicago Field Operations Change of Command ceremony. Local dignitaries and colleagues gathered in the main auditorium of the Federal Building, located at 101 West Congress Parkway in downtown Chicago, as Mr. Davies recited the Assumption of Command Oath of Office. The primary mission of CBP is to detect and prevent terrorists and weapons of terror from entering the country, while enforcing laws and regulations relating to the facilitation of international trade and travel.
"I would like to welcome Matt Davies as he assumes his duties of Area Port Director in Chicago," said Chicago CBP Acting Director of Field Operations William A. Ferrara. "He has demonstrated his commitment to protecting our nation, serving our agency and most of all brings a refreshing style of leadership to Chicago."
As the Chicago Area Port Director, Mr. Davies will direct CBP operations and enforcement efforts at 22 ports of entry and inspection stations operating in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. One of the busiest airports in the country, O'Hare International, falls within the Chicago Area Port as well as one of the largest CBP international mail facilities. In addition, the Area Port of Chicago is responsible for CBP operations in 35 foreign trade zones, 39 bonded warehouses, and 172 container freight stations.
"I am both honored and humbled by this immense and important mission. I look forward to the challenge of directing and developing CBP programs and operations at one of the most significant and vast area ports in the country," said Davies. "I can remember when I first started my career and how proud I was to protect and serve my country. I look forward to working in the "Windy City" and on behalf of my family I wish to thank my new CBP family for a wonderful welcome to the Midwest."
Prior to his current assignment in Chicago, Mr. Davies served as the Area Port Director for Dublin Preclearance in Dublin, Ireland. In that role, he was responsible for CBP operations at both the Dublin and Shannon Airports and was the CBP Country Team Lead to the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. During his tenure, he implemented process improvements at Dublin Airport that significantly improved wait times; led the consolidation of CBP's operational hours at Shannon Airport and oversaw the deployment of two Global Entry kiosks to both Dublin and Shannon Airports. Mr. Davies was credited with contributing to a new culture of collaboration with all stakeholders at Dublin Airport's Terminal 2.
Mr. Davies began his career in Buffalo, New York with U.S. Immigration and Naturalization in 2002, where he worked for five years before being assigned to CBP Headquarters, Washington D.C. in 2007. In 2010, Mr. Davies was a member of the first class to attend the CBP Leadership Institute which was designed to educate and prepare participants for positions of increasing responsibility with CBP.
During his career, Mr. Davies has also served within CBP Headquarters, Admissibility and Passenger Programs as a Program Manager where he was responsible for leading implementations of numerous national policies and directives. Mr. Davies represented CBP on several inter-agency working groups including a DHS-level bi-national working group with Canada regarding cross-border emergency management, the 2008 U.S. Visa Waiver Program eligibility assessment for Italy, and the 28th meeting of the Simplifying Passenger Travel Interest Group. Mr. Davies also represented CBP during the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review "Securing Our Border" study group ensuring that critical program areas were incorporated into the Department-level strategy, vision, and goals.
Although today, February 22, marked the formal change of command, Mr. Davies reported to and occupied his new Chicago post on December 16, 2012. Mr. Davies replaced Carl Ambroson, who had been the CBP Chicago Area Port Director since 2005.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.