2016 Advisory Board

Advisory Board Chairman

Robert-C-BonnerRobert C. Bonner, Advisory Board Chairman
Senior Principal, Sentinel Strategy & Policy Consulting
Former Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Former Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and Former U.S. District Judge for California’s Central District
Mr. Bonner was appointed as the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service in September 2001.

From March 2003 until December 2005, Mr. Bonner served as the first Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for managing and securing the United States’ borders, while facilitating global trade and travel.

As the Commissioner of CBP, Mr. Bonner led the largest merger of personnel and resources associated with the creation in 2003 of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. CBP was created by merging personnel from U.S. Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, including the entire Border Patrol, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Quarantine inspectors from the Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service. This included the merger of approximately 22,000 Customs personnel, 18,000 Immigration personnel, and 2,000 Agriculture personnel, and the creation of “One Face at the Border” -the integration of customs, immigration and other frontline border authorities into one primary inspection agency at border Ports of Entry and a unified border management agency for the United States.

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Bonner led efforts to modernize supply chain security so as to optimally address post-9/11 threats without damaging the U.S. and global economies. Mr. Bonner pioneered the use of advance electronic information and automated risk assessment as counter-terrorism tools and created the National Targeting Center, Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) – all of which revolutionized the security and more efficient movement of trade around the world. He oversaw the implementation of the Automated Commercial Environment as well as whole-of-government efforts to achieve a “single window into government” for reporting import and export data.

While Mr. Bonner focused on securing international supply chains from the terrorist and other transnational threats, he simultaneously pursued and implemented a national border control strategy to secure U.S. borders between its official ports of entry. This strategy consisted of a centralized command structure, rapid response capability, and a defense-in-depth, while relying upon highly-trained personnel, strengthened border infrastructure and detection technology.

In addition, Mr. Bonner expanded the development of automated risk-assessment systems (and related policies and concepts of operation) for both people and cargo. Immediately following 9/11 and under Commissioner Bonner’s leadership, CBP sought and obtained the authority to require advanced electronic data on all cargo entering the U.S. as well as passport and reservation data on virtually all people flying to the U.S from aboard. From 2001 – 2003, CBP put in place the policies and targeting systems needed to use this data to assess all arriving cargo and people for risk, thereby developing the type of border screening system recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

Further, Mr. Bonner was the driving force behind many international efforts to adapt customs policies and operations to the post-9/11 era. In particular, Mr. Bonner led the effort to develop and ratify the World Customs Organization SAFE Framework – the principles guiding customs modernization efforts designed to combat terrorism and other transnational threats. These principles are, to a great extent, based on the policies and initiatives Mr. Bonner implemented at CBP. Under Mr. Bonner’s leadership, the combination of advancements enhanced U.S. security and facilitated legitimate trade and travel. They included: automated risk-assessment and targeting, “One Face at the Border”, and “smart border” programs such as C-TPAT, CSI, NEXUS and NEXUS Air, Global Entry (trusted international traveler programs), the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, U.S. VISIT and the Immigration Advisory Program.

Mr. Bonner’s other U.S. government service included serving as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from 1990 -1993 where he developed and implemented the Kingpin Strategy, a strategy for destroying large-scale, international drug trafficking organizations. He also oversaw the regulation of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. Mr. Bonner also served as a U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California from 1989-1990, and as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1984-1989. He served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1967-71.

Mr. Bonner was a partner in international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1993 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2008. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Chair of Caltech’s Audit & Compliance Committee. He is chair of the Homeland Security Council for Region One, and a member of Secretary Napolitano’s Southwest Border Task Force, under the national HSAC. He is a former Chair of the California Commission on Judicial Performance where he oversaw the implementation of judicial ethical rules and presided over judicial misconduct proceedings.

In January 2008, Mr. Bonner became senior principal of the Sentinel HS Group, a homeland security consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area. He is regularly invited to Brussels to speak to members of the World Customs Organization on all aspects of customs modernization and SAFE implementation. He is also an authority on U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations and has written articles for Foreign Affairs and other journals. He is regularly called upon to speak on international trade, counter-terrorism, customs, immigration policy, drug control, Latin America and other issues.

Mr. Bonner graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from the University of Maryland, and holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University. He is a member of the California and D.C. Bars.

Advisory Board Members

David-AguilarDavid V. Aguilar
Partner, GSIS
Former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Commissioner David V. Aguilar is a Partner at GSIS. Mr. Aguilar was appointed Acting Commissioner of U. S. Customs and Border Protection on December 30, 2011.

As Commissioner Mr. Aguilar led the United States government’s largest law enforcement organization with a workforce of 60,000, including 43,000 uniformed law enforcement officers. He strategically planned, formulated, and executed a yearly budget of nearly 12 billion dollars and was responsible for the management of the largest civilian Law Enforcement Air Force in the world. Prior to being named Acting Commissioner Aguilar had been CBP Deputy Commissioner since April 11, 2010. As Acting Commissioner and as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security’s agency responsible for leading the world’s only unified integrated border management agency, Aguilar was responsible for securing the over 6,000 miles of land border between the ports of entry against the smuggling of illegal entrants into the United States, illicit goods, narcotics, and weapons for use against the population of the United States.

Mr. Aguilar also served as Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. During that time, he oversaw the largest expansion of the Border Patrol in its 88-year history, doubling its size to over 21,000 Agents. Prior to his becoming Chief of the Border Patrol, Mr. Aguilar was Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector the largest and most active Border Patrol Sector in the nation. His leadership has earned him numerous awards, including the Presidential Rank Award in 2008, the President’s Meritorious Excellence Award in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, the Washington Homeland Security Roundtable Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement Lifetime Achievement Award.

At GSIS, Mr. Aguilar advises clients on a broad range of national homeland and international security matters including border operations, security management, global trade and commerce, supply chain management and security, critical infrastructure protection, risk management, viability assessments and strategic planning and implementation. Aguilar retired from government service on March 31, 2013 after a 35-year career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Mr. Aguilar holds an associate degree in accounting from Laredo Community College and attended Laredo State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Jayson-P-AhernJayson P. Ahern
Principal, The Chertoff Group
Former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection


On January 2, 2010, Jayson P. Ahern retired from 33 years of federal service to both the U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

At the time of his retirement, he had served for nearly a year as Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and was responsible for securing, managing and controlling our Nation’s borders. He has served as CBP’s Deputy Commissioner, the highest career position in the agency. During his interim appointment as Acting Commissioner, Mr. Ahern continued to serve as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s 58,000 employee workforce and managing an operating budget of over $11 billion. Mr. Ahern’s primary focus was keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country, while also carrying out CBP’s other border-related responsibilities.

From June 2002 until August 2007, Mr. Ahern served as the Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, a position he also held with the former U.S. Customs Service. As Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Ahern managed all Field Operations in domestic and foreign locations, as well as critical national security and operational programs. In 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security was created, Mr. Ahern presided over the historic merger of personnel from three of CBP’s legacy agencies and ensured mission continuity during the largest government reorganization in the last 50 years.

W-Ralph-BashamW. Ralph Basham
Partner, Command Consulting Group
Former Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Former Director, U.S. Secret Service
Over the course of his 38 year career in federal law enforcement, W. Ralph Basham, served in senior leadership positions at four of the eight operational components in what is now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and did so as a Senior Executive Presidential appointee in the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

Most recently, Mr. Basham led an agency of over 53,000 employees as Commissioner of U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), the nation’s largest law enforcement agency and the largest operational component of DHS with overall responsibility for the border security of the United States. During his tenure as Commissioner, CBP embarked on an ambitious initiative to secure the border using state of the art technology such as ground based radar systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and an increased intelligence infrastructure.

Mr. Basham led the agency’s successful effort to double the size of the Border Patrol and modernized the way in which law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community work together in their efforts to screen passengers and cargo entering the United States. Mr. Basham led CBP through a period of unprecedented growth and intense public scrutiny on issues like immigration and border security, and managed the challenges of securing the global supply chain and enforcing trade laws while facilitating legitimate commerce. He also oversaw the rapid deployment of billions of dollars worth of assets and tactical infrastructure along the nation’s borders.

Prior to becoming Commissioner of CBP, Mr. Basham served as the Director of the United States Secret Service (USSS), where he had overall responsibility for the security of the President, Vice President, all living former Presidents and their families.


Pierre-Yves-BourduasPierre-Yves Bourduas
President, P-Y Public Safety Management Inc.
Former Deputy Commissioner of Federal Services and Central Region, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Retired)
Born in Laval, Quebec, Pierre-Yves Bourduas joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1975.
• As a young patrol officer, was initially posted to “J” Division; then redeployed to the position of specialized investigator with the RCMP Federal Investigations Branch.
• In 1989, was appointed first coordinator of the newly-created Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit in Fredericton.
• In 1994, received the RCMP’s highest award, the Commissioner’s Commendation, for a courageous act performed while on duty.
• In 1994, received the “J” Division Commanding Officer’s Commendation for his involvement in Operation “Jules”, to this day, one of the largest cocaine seizures in Canada.
• In 1994, commissioned as the officer in charge of the Montreal Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit.
• In 1996, appointed District Commander of the Quebec RCMP’s North West District.
• In 1998, became part of the RCMP Headquarters’ Familiarization Program; was concurrently assigned to the International Crime Prevention Centre until June 1999, when he joined the RCMP Alignment Action Team.
• While in the National Capital Region, participated in the organization of the International Police and Prevention Symposium designed to demonstrate the importance of streamlining preventive and repressive action in the fight against organized crime.
• In October 1999, was promoted to the rank of chief superintendent in his capacity as National Organized Crime Officer for the Atlantic Region.
• In Quebec in the spring of 2002, steered the National Ports Security Program and initiated the implementation of an integrated action plan to secure the marine ports of Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver.
• On December 3, 2002, became the 28th Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Quebec.
• On June 28, 2005, was appointed a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General of Canada.
• On December 2, 2005, was promoted to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Federal Services and Central Region. As such, he was responsible for Federal and International Operations, Protective Policing and for “A”, “C” and “O” Divisions of the RCMP.
• Retired from the RCMP on May 1, 2008.
• As founder and president of P-Y Public Safety Management Inc, provided strategic advice to Chiefs of Police for the cities of Québec and Montréal.
• Served as Contributing Researcher for a multi-disciplinary team, which consolidated and assessed a national database of existing global research on Organized Crime for Public Safety Canada.
• Co-authored a report entitled “The Global Literature on Organized Crime: An Interpretive Report on the Development and Meta-Analysis of an Annotated Bibliographic Database for Canadian Policy Makers”.
• Served as consultant and facilitator for the province of Saskatchewan on the Public Safety Review Committee, which consists of representatives from municipal, and First Nations communities together with a wide range of fire and emergency service providers.
• Co-authored a report entitled “An Operational Plan for Regional Application of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Grid Concept”.
• As a consultant conducted a thorough review of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Canada Border Services Agency.
• Graduated from Moncton University in Personnel Management.
• Graduated from the Canadian Police College in General and Applied Police Science.
• Advanced education in communication and public administration.
Michael-A-BraunMichael A. Braun
Managing Partner, SGI Global, LLC
Former Chief of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Michael Braun retired from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2008 as DEA Chief of Operations.

In this role, Special Agent Braun was responsible for leading the worldwide drug enforcement operations of the Agency’s 227 domestic and 86 foreign offices, as well as the Special Operations Division, the Aviation Division, the Office of Financial Operations, the Office of Operational Support and the Office of Diversion Control. He was appointed to this position in February 2005 and was the longest serving principal advisor to the DEA Administrator on all enforcement-related matters. During his tenure, Mr. Braun became widely recognized as an expert on the growing nexus between drugs and terrorism, and for focusing the agency’s efforts on the Global War on Terrorism. He forged strong relations with the Department of Defense (DoD), and provided a clear vision to Combatant, Unified and Specified Commanders on the important role that the DEA plays in supporting DoD’s counter-insurgency and irregular warfare doctrine. After leaving the DEA, Mr. Braun co-founded Spectre Group International, an organization focused on supporting counter-narcotics, law enforcement, and intelligence operations around the world.

From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Braun headed the multi-agency Office of Special Intelligence and later led the entire Intelligence Division. He was also appointed by the Deputy Attorney General to serve as the first Interim Director of a new Department of Justice (DoJ) Drug Intelligence Fusion Center supporting the war on terrorism and drugs.

In 2001, Mr. Braun was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and assigned as the Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) of the Detroit Division, where he oversaw all of the DEA’s operations and programs in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. Shortly after Coalition Forces invaded Iraq in June 2003, Mr. Braun was detailed to DoD to serve on special assignment in Iraq as the Chief of Staff for the Interim Ministry of Interior, Coalition Provisional Authority. He assisted in creating the new Iraqi National Police Service and Customs and Border agencies, as well as developing plans to rebuild the public safety segment of the Iraqi security infrastructure.

Mr. Braun began his DEA career in 1985, when he served as a Special Agent in the St. Louis Field Office. From 1991 until 2001, Mr. Braun rose steadily through the ranks of the agency and served in several key roles. In Latin America, he led specially trained and equipped host nation counterparts and DEA Special Agents on paramilitary drug enforcement operations in the jungles of South and Central America in support of U.S. foreign drug policy. In the Houston and Los Angeles divisions, his teams targeted some of the world’s most notorious drug trafficking cartels and gangs.

Theresa-C-BrownTheresa Cardinal Brown
Director, Immigration Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center
Principal, Cardinal North Strategies, LLC


Theresa Cardinal Brown joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in January 2014 as Director of Immigration Policy from her own consulting firm, Cardinal North Strategies, LLC.

There she specialized in policy, legislative and regulatory affairs regarding immigration, homeland security in the areas of immigration law and enforcement, border security and management, cross-border travel and trade, emergency management and response and information sharing for counterterrorism and law enforcement. Ms. Brown has over 20 years of experience in immigration law, policy and government relations with law firms, associations and while serving in the government. She was Director of Immigration and Border Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associate Director of Business Immigration Advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and worked in the immigration practices of large Washington, DC-based law firms. She directed and conducted extensive government relations with the executive branch and Congress, built coalitions of business, industry, government and civil society groups to advance immigration and border policy, and created successful strategies for legislative and policy development and execution. She has also served as a Director and Of Counsel at The Sentinel HS Group, LLC where she provided private sector clients with strategic advice regarding business development in the US and Canadian homeland security and public safety market and worked on public sector contracts in the areas of border security and immigration enforcement.

Her government career included serving as a policy advisor in the office of the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), coordinating CBP policy relating to traveler screening and processing, admissibility, coordinating with the State Department on documentary requirements for travelers and other policy matters relating to immigration and enforcement. She served on Secretary Chertoff’s Second Stage Review of USCIS, making recommendations for streamlining immigrant benefit processing and improving the budget process at the agency. In 2005 and 2006, she served as a member and later Director of the Immigration Legislation Task Force for the DHS Office of Policy, overseeing a group of senior officials to develop and coordinate policy responses and advice to the Secretary and the White House to legislative proposals and amendments in Congress on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. She then served as the first Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director of Canadian Affairs and subsequently as the first DHS Attaché at the Embassy of the United States in Ottawa, where she built extensive contacts in US and Canadian governments across the areas of homeland security, immigration and border policy and operations, law enforcement and public safety, transportation, and trade.

Ms. Brown is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in International Relations and Economics.


Ronald-S-ColburnRonald S. Colburn
President, The Border Patrol Foundation
Former National Deputy Chief, U.S. Border Patrol


Ronald Colburn has served in critical operational and leadership positions in the field and at the headquarters of the U.S. Border Patrol, and now as a consultant, for over 34 years.

At the time of retirement in 2009, he was the National Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While at CBP, Chief Colburn helped lead a workforce of over 20,000 individuals. He helped oversee the effort to double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol and was critical to the operational deployment of billions of dollars worth of technology and tactical infrastructure designed to bolster U.S. law enforcement efforts. Immediately prior to being named Deputy Chief, Chief Colburn served briefly as Acting Deputy Executive Director of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI).

Chief Colburn previously served as Chief Patrol Agent of the Yuma Sector area of responsibility (AOR) making significant improvements in “operational control.” Prior to leading Yuma Sector, Mr. Colburn was the Senior Associate Chief of Operations at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. From 2002 to 2003, Chief Colburn served a special tour of duty at the White House, serving as the Director of Law Enforcement at the Homeland Security Council (HSC). In this capacity, Chief Colburn was responsible for developing policy and crafting the implementation of Homeland Security and national law enforcement initiatives.

Chief Colburn is a founding member of the U.S. Border Patrol’s national special weapons and tactics unit known as “BORTAC,” having completed the first-ever basic tactical operations training course in May 1984. He later served as a Team Leader on numerous missions. In the late 1980s, Colburn led a team to South America where they conducted jungle patrols targeting cocaine production labs, airstrips and aircraft. Under Chief Colburn’s supervision, they trained national police units in counternarcotics operations, manned checkpoints and interdicted drugs and drug manufacturing precursor materials.

He also served in Central America in the early ’90s establishing a national police training academy in support of a truce agreement between leftist guerrillas and the standing El Salvadoran government.

Chief Colburn has extensive experience training local city, county, and state SWAT units, as well as other federal and U.S. military entities in tactical operations. Ron represents the third of four generations of Colburns serving the border security mission since the early 1900s.



Stephen-J-ComberStephen J. Comber
Senior Vice President and General Manager, ManTech
Health and Federal Civilian Business Unit


Stephen J. Comber is responsible for developing, managing, and growing the company’s work with federal health and civilian agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, Health & Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to joining ManTech International Corporation in January 2015, Mr. Comber was the president of Leidos Health (formerly SAIC, Inc.), responsible for a federal and commercial health portfolio in excess of $800 million in annual revenue. Over his 29 ½ year distinguished career with SAIC Mr. Comber demonstrated and impressive record of success in managing complex projects serving the most critical needs of our active duty military and our nation’s veterans.

Throughout his career Mr. Comber served in a variety of executive positions, including contracts, business operations, and project management roles. In 2005, he was promoted to SVP & business operation’s manager for SAIC’s health business, and later that year won the company’s inaugural Outstanding Leadership in Contracts Award. Mr. Comber was promoted in 2007 to become the deputy business unit manager for SAIC’s health solutions team, and in 2008 was selected as a member of the SAIC CEO & Chairman of the Board Inaugural Leadership Program. In 2010 Mr. Comber was promoted to General Manager of SAIC’s federal & commercial health business responsible for the overall strategy and growth of SAIC’s health portfolio.

Today, under Mr. Comber’s leadership, ManTech’s Health & Federal Civilian Business is positioned well for success. Mr. Comber established an industry-recognized leadership team in ManTech’s Health, Homeland Security and Department of State accounts all dedicated to the success of the missions they serve.

Mr. Comber is an avid runner having run over 50 marathons throughout the Unites States, and enjoys spending time serving the community. Mr. Comber works closely with the NIH Children’s Inn supporting families with children battling life-threatening diseases, and spends time each year working with the Paralyzed Veterans of America working to ensure MissionAble endures.
Mr. Comber received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech). His office is located in Herndon, Va.


Allen-GinaAllen Gina
Co-Founder, CT Strategies
Former Assistant Commissioner, International Trade U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Mr. Allen Gina is the Co-Founder of CT Strategies, which provides strategic services to clients seeking current and innovative insight into border management and supply chain challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Most recently, Mr. Gina served as Assistant Commissioner for International Trade at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Gina oversaw a workforce of over 1,000 employees and a budget of over $300 million, and was responsible for leading the most extensive trade transformation initiative in CBP’s history.

Prior to serving as Assistant Commissioner for International Trade, Mr. Gina served as the Assistant Commissioner for International Affairs; (A) Assistant and Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Intelligence and Operations Coordination, and (A) Executive Director for the Joint Operations Directorate at CBP. Mr. Gina was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2004 as the Executive Director of the Container Security and Secure Freight Initiatives. Prior to entering the Senior Executive Service, Mr. Gina served as Customs Inspector, Supervisory Customs Inspector, Chief Customs Inspector, and Area Port Director, as well as the Director of various offices including: the Customs Industry Partnership Program, the Customs Outbound Program, and the Customs Office of Border Security.

Throughout his 30 plus-year career at CBP and its predecessor agency, the U.S. Customs Service, Mr. Gina has been a pioneer and a leader, developing broad and far-reaching national and international programs to support anti-terrorism and trade transformation policies. Prior to and during the first year of operation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Mr. Gina was assigned to the Border and Transportation Security Directorate as Director of Agency Coordination to help establish policies and procedures.

Mr. Gina is a native of New York City and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College and is a graduate of the Office of Personnel Management’s Executive Development Program and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program. Mr. Gina has received numerous commendations and awards, to include the World Customs Organization Partnership Award and has been conferred the rank of Meritorious Executive by the President of the United States. Mr. Gina lives in Virginia with his wife and has a daughter that lives in the District of Columbia.

D-Brian-PetermanD. Brian Peterman
Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
President and CEO, Command at Sea International


Vice Admiral Brian Peterman (Ret.) is a recognized leader in the fields of maritime safety and security, border and port security, maritime domain awareness, and emergency management.

He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008 after 36 years of service to the United States. His final assignment was as Commander, Atlantic Area, where he oversaw all Coast Guard operations in a region that ranged from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf.

Prior to that assignment, he was the Commander of U.S. Coast Guard District Seven, headquartered in Miami, Florida. In that command, he was at the forefront of preventing illegal seaborne immigrants from entering the U.S., fighting the narco-terrorism campaign in the Caribbean and Atlantic areas in conjunction with U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), responding to eight major hurricanes, and managing an aggressive commercial and recreational vessel safety program. During this period, he was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the Principle Federal Official (PFO) for Hurricane Ophelia. This was the first PFO assignment after Hurricane Katrina and it spearheaded improvements made to federal disaster preparedness.

Mr. Peterman also possesses extensive national security policy experience at the highest levels. He served as a Director in the Defense Policy and Arms Control staff on the White House National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. Immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, he was called back to the White House where he served for two-and-a-half years as the Special Assistant to the President for Border and Transportation Security on the newly created Homeland Security Council staff. In this position he bolstered the security of our borders through immigration and customs improvements and put safeguards in place to reduce the vulnerability of all modes of transportation. From 2002-2003, he helped in the planning and establishment of DHS.

Mr. Peterman also has extensive operational, interagency and international experience. He commanded two Coast Guard Cutters: WOODRUSH out of Sitka, Alaska, and CAMPBELL out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In addition, he served aboard ACHUSHNET out of Gulfport, Mississippi, and SWEETBRIER out of Cordova, Alaska. He was the first Coast Guard officer in the Military Liaison Office in Kingston, Jamaica, where he trained Jamaica Defense Force personnel for peacekeeping operations in Grenada. He served at the Headquarters, U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where he managed a security assistance program that required extensive travel in North and West Africa. Later, he commanded the Coast Guard’s key Alaska industrial and operational facility in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Mr. Peterman earned his Bachelor’s Degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science Degree from the Naval War College. His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Cutterman’s insignia and the Presidential Service insignia.

James-D-PhillipsJames D. Phillips
President & CEO
Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance


Jim Phillips, President & CEO since 1992 of the Can/Am Border Trade Alliance (Can/Am BTA).

The Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance, formed in 1992, is a transcontinental, bi-national, broad based organization with participation from all 27 states (Washington to Maine including Alaska) on or near the U.S./Canada Border and the Canadian Provinces. The combined network involves over 60,000 companies and organizations in their individual memberships. Can/Am BTA participants include members from border trade, border crossing and transportation segments including producers, shippers, brokers, mode transportation providers, bridge and tunnel operators, chambers of commerce, business and trade corridor associations and economic development and government agencies. The CAN/AM BTA’s major focus areas are Trade, Transportation, Border Management and Visitation.

He is past President of General Abrasive, where he served as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, And Vice President in charge of Operations of the Canadian Subsidiary, General Abrasive (Canada) Limited. Prior to his employment at General Abrasive, he was Chief Financial Officer of the Pigments Division of the American Cyanamid Company.

He was appointed by the Senate Majority and the Governor to the New York State Superfund Management Board. He was elected to the Marquis “Who’s Who in American Business in the East” ; “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry” and “Who’s Who in America”. Appeared on Television and Radio in various formats as a spokesperson for Business and Community.

Mr. Phillips has received a number of awards in recognition for his successful leadership in business and was awarded the prestigious Dresser Gold Medal for the most innovative and creative contribution to technology for his patented Furnace Plant Design. He was presented with the Business Council Of New York State award by the Governor.

Luc-PortelanceLuc Portelance, ICD.D
President and CEO at CrossPoint Integrated Strategies, Inc.
Former President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Luc Portelance is a seasoned executive with extensive experience leading large, complex, and high-profile operational organizations in the field of public safety and national security.

His 36 year career with the Canadian Government is highlighted by seven years with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) where he served as President between 2010 and 2015 and Executive Vice-President from 2008 until 2010.

Previously, he spent 24 years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) including key leadership positions such as Assistant Director Corporate, Assistant Director Operations, and, finally, Deputy Director Operations.

Luc Portelance began his career in 1979 with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) prior to jointing CSIS in 1984.
His expertise in border management, intelligence, law enforcement and public policy is the result of hands- on experience leading Canada’s most sensitive national security operations, and his role in modernizing the border agency. Over the years, Luc Portelance has developed a proven track record in delivering organizational change and transformation including: business re-engineering, IT-enabled transformation, operational efficiency, downsizing, service orientation, and culture change.

In December, 2015, Luc Portelance founded CrossPoint Integrated Strategies, Inc. where he now provides consulting services in a variety of fields associated with his area of expertise.

John-P-WoodsJohn P. Woods
Senior Director
Immigration & National Security Solutions, Health & Civilian Solutions Division
General Dynamics Information Technology
Mr. John P. Woods currently serves as the Senior Director for Immigration & National Security Solutions for General Dynamics Information Technology within the Federal Civilian Sector of the Health and Civilian Solutions Division.

As Senior Director, Mr. Woods coordinates the company’s presence across the areas of National Security including the Homeland Security marketplace with strategic focus on immigration control, policy issues, border security, diplomacy, and law enforcement. Building on an existing portfolio of work, Mr. Woods provides a leadership role in formulating and executing the overall strategy and plan for mission related solutions.

Mr. Woods came to General Dynamics Information Technology after a 29 year law enforcement career with the majority of that time focused on Immigration enforcement, border security, and tactical national security initiatives and programs. Mr. Woods’ previous position as Assistant Director for U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) he oversaw Homeland Security Investigations’ investigative, regulatory, and technological programs targeting transnational national security threats arising from illicit travel, trade, and financial enterprises. Mr. Woods’ role provided strategic leadership in immigration control, border security, and related policy development.

In 1986 Mr. Woods began his law enforcement career with the Inspector General for the New York City Board of Education. Subsequent to that, Mr. Woods accepted appointment as a Special Agent with the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), the legacy agency to ICE. Mr. Woods ascended through the ranks of INS and ICE to serve in multiple positions; Supervisory Special Agent (New York City, NY & Alexandria, VA), Section Chief (Miami, FL), Assistant Special Agent in Charge (Miami, FL), Unit Chief (Washington, DC), Deputy Assistant Director (Washington, DC), Special Agent in Charge (Newark, NJ), and Assistant Director (Vienna, VA).

During the course of his career Mr. Woods was the recipient of three INS Commissioner’s awards. In 1996 for “Quality and Improvement”, 1998 for “Challenge Award – Interior Enforcement”, and 2000 “Meritorious Award”. Additionally, Mr. Woods was a recipient of an FBI Director’s award in 1994 for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation and the subsequent Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman conspiracy prosecution. Throughout his career Mr. Woods was involved with multiple large scale investigations that garnered national attention.

A native of New York, Mr. Woods holds a degree from Long Island University, C.W. Post College. He has made multiple appearances before U.S. Congressional committees in testimony, in addition to published articles and speeches related to his law enforcement mission.

Thomas-WinkowskiThomas Winkowski
President, Global Border Solutions, LLC
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Thomas S. Winkowski was appointed the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 16, 2014.

As ICE’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. Winkowski leads the largest investigative agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Created in 2003, ICE has a budget of $5.6 billion and has nearly 20,000 employees in offices in all 50 states and 48 foreign countries. In this role, Mr. Winkowski advances ICE’s mission to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of approximately 400 federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

Mr. Winkowski brings deep law enforcement and customs-related experience to the job, having filled various positions of leadership during his nearly 4 decades with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its predecessor agencies, including as Acting Commissioner. Mr. Winkowski has worked side-by-side with ICE personnel while managing CBP’s mission. As the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Winkowski oversaw the daily operations of CBP’s 60,000-employee workforce. Mr. Winkowski also served as Assistant Commissioner in CBP’s Office of Field Operations where he managed the largest division within CBP. Prior to his service at CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C., Mr. Winkowski served as the Director of Field Operations in Miami from 2002 to 2007, as well as Port Director in Miami and the Los Angeles International Airport. Mr. Winkowski joined the U.S. Customs Service in 1975 as a cooperative education student. Upon graduating from Boston’s Northeastern University in 1978, he was assigned to Los Angeles where he became a customs inspector.

Mr. Winkowski’s service has been recognized by multiple presidents and administrations, including being awarded the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award by President Bush in 2004 and the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award by President Obama in 2009.

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