I applaud President Trump’s nomination of Kevin McAleenan to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). McAleenan has served as the Acting CBP Commissioner since January, and his nomination to permanently lead the DHS component is precisely the right choice for a challenging leadership role. I know this from personal experience.

When I was with the DHS Office of Policy, Private Sector Office, I had the opportunity to work with McAleenan when he was the Deputy Commissioner. McAleenan helped implement innovations that facilitated the U.S. international arrival and departure process. His team and his work with the private sector (e.g., managing Global Entry) helped save the government and the travel industry millions of dollars.

Just as important, he used data in his decision-making process. I distinctly remember some of the questions he asked on travel and tourism when I was on detail to the Office of Field Operations at CBP. He managed from the data. That is more than a number of other individuals to whom I used to report.

On a personal level, he knew who I was. In a number of instances, he recognized me by name as I entered and left the Ronald Regan Building set of elevators. With me and others, he installed morale and made me want to be an even better employee.

I congratulate him on his nomination and look forward to a speedy and important Senate confirmation process.

From the White House:

If confirmed, Kevin K. McAleenan will serve as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. McAleenan has served as the Deputy Commissioner since 2014 and currently functions as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and senior career official. Under Mr. McAleenan’s leadership, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has developed strategies that protect the Nation’s borders from terrorism, and attack transnational criminal networks, while ensuring the flow of legal commerce and travel. Mr. McAleenan previously held several leadership positions at CBP—including launching its Office of Antiterrorism—and one of its legacy agencies. In 2015, Mr. McAleenan received a Presidential Rank Award, which is the Nation’s highest civil service award. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.

Gary S. Becker is the Chief Economist for Catalyst Partners, LLC. In this role, Becker offers economic analyses to clients on matters relating to homeland security, including the cost impact of proposed and final rulemakings. He offers advice on how to save money while achieving desired security benefits. Read More