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Robert White Takes Command of Chicago Field Office

Release Date: 
December 13, 2016

Largest geographic field office in the nation

CHICAGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along with friends, family, colleagues and local stakeholders gathered December 9, to attend and participate in the formal change of command ceremony to swear in Robert White as Director, Field Operations (DFO), Chicago Field Office. DFO White replaces DFO William Ferrara who transferred to the Boston Field Office.

Director White accepted the change-of-command designation from former Director William Ferrara, who transferred from Chicago to Boston earlier this year. Director White is now responsible for CBP operations throughout most of the Midwest, including the 12 states of Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

DFO Robert White
DFO Robert White

“This is a great accomplishment not only for you and your family but for our organization and our stake holders and the very deserving men and women of the Chicago Field Office,” said DFO William Ferrara. The Office of Field Operations and the Chicago Field Office is fortunate to have such an exceptional leader.”

Significant operations in the field office include the largest airport operation in the Midwest at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, a large foreign mail unit in Chicago, cargo vessel operations in Cleveland, and substantial inbound truck and rail movements throughout the field office.

The Chicago Field Office has also aggressively instituted business transformation initiatives throughout its area of responsibility, embracing the latest in innovation and technology. The field Office was the first to implement Automated Passport Kiosks (APC) in the United States, developed the One Stop Program, and has expanded Global Entry to all of its area ports.

“I am proud to be part of the Chicago Field Office team, said DFO White. To our partners, private sector, public service, community and elected representatives, you are critical to our success. We could not do our job without your support. I welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we can partner more in the future.”

Prior to becoming Director, Mr. White served as the Acting Director, Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office.  From 2015 to 2016, Mr. White served as Assistant Director, Field Operations – Trade, Chicago, Illinois, where he was responsible for managing trade enforcement and facilitation operations.  In this role, he also led the Base Metals – CEE, overseeing the import and export processing of all base metal commodities nationally.

Prior to serving as Assistant Director, Field Operations, Mr. White was the CBP Attaché to Hong Kong, China, where he advised the U.S. Ambassador on CBP programs and capabilities, and oversaw programs operating within the Hong Kong region, including Taiwan and Macau.

DFO White with CBP Honor Guard
DFO White with CBP Honor Guard

Mr. White began his career with the U.S. Border Patrol in 1984 and joined the U.S. Customs Service in 1987, at the Port of San Ysidro, California.  During his 30 years of Federal Service, he has held various leadership positions, including Chief of Staff to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Intelligence, at CBP Headquarters; Border Security Coordinator at the Houston Field Office, where he managed enforcement programs and initiatives in the air and sea environments; and Assistant Director at the Field Operations Academy in Glynco, Georgia, where he was responsible for developing the CBP Spanish language and Agriculture Specialist training programs.

Mr. White is a 2010 graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, CBP Leadership Institute, and a 2003 graduate of the Customs Managers Leadership program.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021