EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio was formally sworn into office this morning at a CBP change of command ceremony. Family, friends, colleagues and local dignitaries gathered as Mr. Provencio recited the oath of office during a ceremony at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas.
“I am honored and humbled to be the Port Director of El Paso and look forward to leading the men and women of CBP assigned to this facility. The port of El Paso is vitally important to the overall economic security of El Paso and the region,” said Ray Provencio, CBP El Paso port director. “I will strive to make certain that CBP remains a positive contributor to our community and I pledge to expand our working relationship with stakeholders, while protecting the community, public and country from those that wish them harm.”
As the El Paso Port Director, Mr. Provencio will direct operations and enforcement activities at the Bridge of the Americas, Paso Del Norte crossing, The Stanton Street SENTRI lanes, two rail crossing as well as CBP operations at the El Paso international airport. He will oversee CBP employees at these locations including CBP officers, Agriculture Specialists, Canine Enforcement Officers, support personnel and others.
Port Director Provencio began his career with the U.S. Customs Service in 1998. During his tenure with both the U.S. Customs Service and CBP, he has served in various high-level positions and performed duties that require the ability to think strategically, provide pragmatic guidance, articulate the Agency’s vision, and manage national projects of significance to completion.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Provencio served as Deputy Director, Field Operations, in El Paso, Texas. In this role, he provided oversight of operational matters in New Mexico and West Texas extending to the Big Bend region. As the Deputy Director, Mr. Provencio provided subject matter expertise related to all federal inspectional laws, rules, regulations, and procedures pertaining to anti-terrorism, border protection, and facilitation. During his tenure at Customs and Border Protection, Mr. Provencio has established a rather unique career path, having worked at all levels in the field and field office to include Supervisor, Chief, Watch Commander, Port Director, Assistant Director-Field Operations and Deputy Director-Field Operations. Mr. Provencio has also worked in permanent headquarters assignments, as well as several temporary assignments overseeing national policy up to the Director level.
Mr. Provencio has led numerous efforts to continuously improve Office of Field Operations (OFO) operations, to include the implementation of Unified Cargo Processing—a binational effort that reduces redundancies in commercial inspections, reduces wait times for cross border trade, and further rewards participants of CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs. He has been involved in various high-level projects that are national in scope, to include the negotiation of two Collective Bargaining Agreements, served as acting Chief of Staff for the OFO, Chief of Staff for the Southwest Border Coordination Center at the Department of Homeland Security and Team Lead in Kuwait during Operation Allies Welcome.
Mr. Provencio will work to ensure that the agency’s primary mission of preventing terrorists or weapons of terror from entering the United States is accomplished on a daily basis. Port Director Provencio is also responsible for all immigration issues related to the admission and exclusion of persons applying for entry into the United States. He also is responsible for customs and agriculture inspections at the ports of entry to ensure that all goods and people entering the United States do so in accordance with our laws and regulations, while ensuring that they are facilitated in their processing to support the global marketplace and the international tourism industries.
Mr. Provencio is native to the Southwest Texas and Southern New Mexico region, attended the University of Texas at El Paso, is a 2010 graduate of the CBP Command Leadership Academy, a 2018 graduate of the CBP Leadership Institute and a career member of the Senior Executive Service. He is married and has three children. Port Director Provencio is the first, native El Pasoan in U.S. Customs and Border Protection history, to serve as the Port Director, El Paso.
In 2008, CBP adopted formal change of command ceremonies as another way to unify the workforce and highlight the agency mission. Since its inception in March 2003, CBP has developed and implemented standards, policies and symbols to advance the internal and external recognition of the agency and to demonstrate the strides the agency has made as the guardians of the nation’s borders. The change of command ceremony is designed to meet those goals.