2018 Advisory Board

Advisory Board Co-Chairmen

David-AguilarDavid V. Aguilar
Principal, GSIS;
Former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Former Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol


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.

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.

Advisory Board Members

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.

Charles-ArmstrongCharles Armstrong
Former Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information and Technology,
U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Mr. Charles R. Armstrong is the Former Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

Functional responsibilities include software development, infrastructure services and support, tactical communications, the laboratory system and research and development functions, and IT modernization initiatives supporting CBP’s core business processes. Additionally, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Steward for network services, Mr. Armstrong is accountable for supporting the agency’s requirements for secure, reliable communications. Mr. Armstrong served as the DHS CIO where he was a champion of the Department’s IT initiatives for improving the agency’s secure information sharing capabilities through the consolidation of infrastructure and strengthened security. Mr. Armstrong brings with him over 26 years of leadership and technology experience in the operations and management of IT. After starting his career with the Navy Department, he worked for the legacy U.S. Customs Service and CBP in various capacities. He also served as the CIO for the DHS Border and Transportation Security prior to assuming the position of DHS CIO in October 2005. Mr. Armstrong graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and obtained a Master’s Certificate in Management from National Louis University. He is a Harvard Senior Executive Fellow, and was recognized by Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 as one of the top executives from government, industry, and academia who had the greatest impact on the government information systems community in 2001.

Robert-C-BonnerRobert C. Bonner
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.

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)


Pierre-Yves Bourduas is the President of P-Y Public Safety Management Inc., an Ottawa-based firm specializing in strategic management, and talent development.
Mr. Bourduas’ professional experience is anchored in over 33 years as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police where he gained valuable experience from a wide variety of operational and administrative experience. As Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP he provided strategic direction and cogent policy advice concerning a complex variety of national and international law enforcement and national security issues to Ministers, Deputy Ministers and senior officials representing federal, provincial and international governments and their related law enforcement agencies. Over the past nine years he expanded his professional horizon as advisor to private and public organizations He is also a member of the Departmental Audit Committee at Canada Border Services Agency. His educational background complements his professional credential and experience: he holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University.
Mr. Bourduas is widely sought after by the media as a subject matter expert for national policing and public safety events. He is a keynote speaker and facilitator at the US-Canada Border Conference and is frequently asked to participate in panel discussion and facilitate learning sessions.

Bobby-BrownBobby Brown
Senior Director Customs and Border Protection, Elbit Systems of America
Vice President Border Patrol Foundation


Bobby’s successful background in Homeland Security and Anti-Terrorism Force Protection bring additional depth to Elbit Systems of America, an international leader in Homeland Security / Anti-Terrorism Forces Protection.
Bobby’s successful background in Homeland Security and Anti-Terrorism Force Protection bring additional depth to Elbit Systems of America, an international leader in Homeland Security / Anti-Terrorism Forces Protection. Bobby will focus on supporting US Customs and Border Protection along with Emerging Markets and Opportunities.   Bobby specializes in project and product development addressing the ever growing Terrorist and Border Security threats. Bobby’s ability to attract effective development and marketing teams has produced successful programs and products exceeding expectations of customers and end users alike.  Responsibilities include all aspects of Elbit Systems of America Homeland Security efforts from product development, technical demonstrations and marketing strategy and tactics.

From 1972 to 2002, Bobby was President and Co-Founder of Brown Motorsports, Inc., a professional Auto Racing Team, Teamed with Ferrari and General Motors. Bobby enjoyed success both on track and in the board room working with such greats as Acer Computers, Seagate, Sun Microsystems and Mac Tools. Bobby held licenses in IMSA, FIA, NASCAR and Indy-Car.

Bobby has extensive experience in all aspects of company management, including P&L, engineering, budgets, sales and marketing and program management which have included both military and commercial markets.

Western Michigan University, Mechanical / Automotive EngineeringMiami University, Marketing and Advertising

• Vice President Border Patrol Foundation
• Member Advisory Board  Border Security Expo
• Member Advisory Board  US / Canada Border Conference
• International Motorsports Association

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.



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.

Catherine-MunroeCathy Munroe
President, Munroe Consulting Services
Former Vice President of Programs with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)


Cathy Munroe has over 32 years of experience in the federal government of Canada with over 17 years as an executive in positions related to Border Management.

She has held various positions within the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) which included managing major transformation initiatives, as well as positions in the regional operational and headquarters policy areas.

She retired from the CBSA in 2013 after 5 years as the Vice President of the Admissibility and Programs Branches where she managed an organization of 1400 employees. She was in charge of all of the domestic and international border programs supporting both security and facilitation, as well as several major development projects, including the Canada/US Beyond the Border Initi-atives. Prior to that time she was a Director General in the Operations Branch. This included time at Headquarters as well as serving as the Regional Director of Customs for the Northern Ontario Region from 2001 to 2005, during which time she worked on the transition team for the creation of the Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA).

From 1996 to 2001, Ms Munroe was in charge of the modernization initiatives related to the Cus-toms Travellers Programs, including those supporting the US/Canada Shared Border Accord and the Customs Blueprint. This involved the creation of new service delivery models and enhanced security measures.

Prior to joining the customs program in 1996 Ms Munroe held various regional and headquarters positions with Revenue Canada and Customs and Excise in human resources and the in the ac-counting and rebates program areas. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Since her retirement Ms Munroe has been working as a consultant providing advice and support on border facilitation and security, management and government policy.

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.

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.