Senate Confirms Kerlikowske as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON— Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) commended his Senate colleagues for confirming R. Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s nominee to be the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security:

“As one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest operational divisions, Customs and Border Protection plays an essential role in the Department’s mission to keep Americans safe by protecting our borders while promoting international trade,” said Chairman Carper. “I believe that the President made an excellent choice in selecting Mr. Kerlikowske to lead this important agency. His breadth of experience in law enforcement and drug policy prepare him well to take on this role, and our nation will benefit immensely from his leadership. I commend my colleagues for joining me in supporting his nomination and I look forward to working with him in this new position.” 

Prior to being confirmed, R. Gil Kerlikowske served as the White House Director of National Drug Control Policy. Previously, he was Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.  The bulk of Mr. Kerlikowske’s career has been in local law enforcement.  He has served as Chief of Police in Seattle, Washington, Police Commissioner in Buffalo, New York and in the police department of St. Petersburg, Florida. He has twice served as President of the Major Cities Chiefs, which encompasses the largest city and county law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, and he was awarded the Presidential Service Badge for his service in the U.S. Army. Mr. Kerlikowske holds a B.A. and a M.A. in criminal justice as well as an Honorary Doctor in Humane Letters from the University of South Florida.