President Appoints Bersin DHS Assistant Secretary of International Affairs

Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection held a Change of Leadership Ceremony marking the departure of Alan Bersin as CBP Commissioner and the appointment of Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar as Acting Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations Thomas Winkowski as Acting Deputy Commissioner.

In her prepared remarks praising Bersin’s effectiveness as Commissioner, Napolitano announced that President Obama has appointed him to be DHS Assistant Secretary of International Affairs.  This looks to be the same position Bersin held prior to becoming Commissioner (along with being Special Representative for Border Affairs).  This appears to be another recess appointment for Bersin.

In his Assistant Secretary role, Bersin will oversee the department’s international engagement, leading the strategic development and execution of DHS international plans and policies and forging new partnerships with foreign governments and international organizations. He will deal with a wide variety of issues including counterterrorism, organized crime, narcotics, human trafficking, chemical, biological and other weapons. 

Acting Commissioner Aquilar has served as Deputy Commissioner since April 2010.  Previously he was the Chief of U.S. Border Patrol where he rose through the ranks starting as a Border Patrol agent.  He won the prestigious Presidential Rank Award in 2008.

DHS Napolitano’s Prepared Remarks can be found at

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/20111230-napolitano-cbp-ceremony.shtm