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Ronald Vitiello Assumes Command of the U.S. Border Patrol

Release Date: 
March 17, 2017

Before nearly 100 attendees, including family, friends, Congressional staff and CBP and DHS leadership, Ronald D. Vitiello, was sworn in as the U.S. Border Patrol’s chief Tuesday.

“There is no one more prepared, no finer agent to lead than Ron Vitiello,” said Acting Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, who administered the oath of office as part of the official ceremony.

The Acting Commissioner praised the new chief’s respect for others, leadership that considers diverse points of view and ability to constantly deliver on his commitments.

CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan (left) administers the Oath of Office to Ronald Vitiello as the new chief of the Border Patrol. Chief Vitiello’s wife, Nuri, looks on. Photo by Donna Burton
CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan
(left) administers the Oath of Office to
Ronald Vitiello as the new chief of the
Border Patrol. Chief Vitiello’s wife,
Nuri, looks on. Photo Credit: Donna Burton 

Chief Vitiello said he was grateful and humbled to accept a job that he never thought he would be assigned. He recognized the challenges and sacrifices—the long hours, hardships and family separations—Border Patrol agents face to accomplish the mission. “Border Patrol agents are good, honorable people deserving of the public trust they have earned. They deserve the best equipment, training, policies, information, intelligence and support from headquarters.”

Chief Vitiello committed to fostering productive international relations, especially with the governments of Canada and Mexico, and he pledged to honor CBP’s core values of vigilance, service to country and integrity.

Chief Vitiello assumes command in a time when CBP is focused on strengthening border security. “I know the chief is capable of delivering on the key priorities in applying his operational tactics and expertise to enhance our border security with the resources we are going to receive,” Acting Commissioner McAleenan said.

“There’s a lot that’s going to be asked from the Border Patrol and CBP in the coming months,” said Acting Commissioner McAleenan. There’s a very bright spotlight on us and we’re going to be watched in how we respond.” At the same time, he said the Trump Administration is providing the agency with the support, resources and technology to meet those challenges.

Chief Vitiello began his Border Patrol career in 1985 and has held numerous leadership positions on both the Southwest and Northern borders.

In 1997, he was the deputy assistant regional director for the Border Patrol at Immigration and Naturalization Services’ Central Region Office in Dallas. He later served as a special operations supervisor at the Nogales Station in the Tucson Sector. In 2002, he became assistant chief at Border Patrol headquarters where he played a key role in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and CBP.

Later, he was the chief patrol agent of the Swanton Sector, Vermont, and the Rio Grande Valley Sector, Texas, and was CBP’s hurricane preparedness coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region VI, eventually leading more than 12,000 CBP employees.

Last modified: 
March 21, 2017