World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Alan Bersin

Article Id: WHEBN0008704772
Reproduction Date:

Title: Alan Bersin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, List of U.S. executive branch czars, American Jews, United States Department of Homeland Security
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Alan Bersin

Alan Bersin
Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection
In office
March 27, 2010 – December 31, 2011
President Barack Obama
Preceded by David Aguilar (Acting)
Succeeded by David Aguilar (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1946-10-15) October 15, 1946
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lisa Foster
Alma mater Harvard University
Balliol College, Oxford
Yale University
Religion Judaism

Alan D. Bersin (born October 15, 1946) served as the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Commissioner Bersin was placed by President Barack Obama on March 27, 2010 as a recess appointment. As Commissioner, Mr. Bersin oversaw the operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee work force and managed an operating budget of more than $11 billion. Bersin formerly served as the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs, informally known as the "Border Czar." Bersin currently serves as Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, a position he assumed on January 3, 2012.[1] According to the Department of Homeland Security website, in this position Bersin "oversees the Department's international engagement and serves as the principal advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano on all international affairs".

Bersin is a former Secretary of Education for California, as well as a former superintendent of San Diego City Schools, past federal Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and former Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative. He previously served as the chair of the executive committee of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.[2]


Bersin was born in 1946 to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York.[3] He attended public schools and Hebrew school in New York City. He received an A.B. in government from Harvard College, and then attended Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1974, he obtained a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.

From 1995-1998, Bersin served as the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative, coordinating law enforcement on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

His appointment in 1998 as Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego City Schools put him in control of the eighth largest urban school district in the U.S. In 2005, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him as California's Education Secretary.[4]

In 2007, the nonprofit electronic journalism outlet [5] reported that Bersin was considering a run for City Attorney of San Diego.[6]

On April 15, 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the appointment of Bersin as DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs. In the press release announcing his appointment, Secretary Napolitano said, "Alan brings years of vital experience working with local, state and international partners to help us meet the challenges we face at our borders. He will lead the effort to make our borders safe while working to promote commerce and trade.[7]"

Bersin's recess appointment in 2010 was effective only until the end of the next session of Congress. Through the rest of 2010 and 2011, Republicans in the Senate refused to hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination, so in December 2011 he was forced to step down.[8] Napolitano said, "I want to thank Alan Bersin for his distinguished leadership over the past two years as the CBP Commissioner. During his tenure, CBP has taken historic steps to secure our borders while facilitating legal travel and trade. Commissioner Bersin has also been instrumental in facilitating new international agreements and public-private partnerships as well as developing new paradigms throughout the world in combating terrorism and international crime. Commissioner Bersin has helped set CBP on a path to continuously adapt and seek new and innovative ways of keeping our country – and our communities – safe.[9]"


According to the Electronic Engineering Times,[10] Bersin is responsible for a bizarre redaction policy that is endangering national security, namely making it virtually impossible to identify counterfeit semiconductor parts entering the U.S., even ones destined for sensitive military equipment.

INTERPOL and DHS International Affairs

"At the 81st INTERPOL General Assembly held in Rome, Italy, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin was elected to serve a three-year term as Vice President for the Americas on the INTERPOL Executive Committee. Mr. Bersin was elected with overwhelming support from the approximately 170 member countries in attendance. This year’s assembly also saw the largest U.S. delegation in history, reflecting the important role INTERPOL plays in international security, and in the security of the United States.

During his keynote address, Mr. Bersin underscored the need to work together on border security to combat transnational crime, and the importance of information-sharing between various law enforcement agencies and with INTERPOL. DHS currently utilizes INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Document database every day to verify the travel documents of travelers seeking to enter the United States.

Mr. Bersin will continue to serve in his current role as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s principal advisor on international affairs, and through his new responsibilities, work on advancing DHS’ collaboration with the world’s largest international law enforcement organization and its member countries."[11][12]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. "Board Members". Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ San Diego Jewish Journal (2003). "The hardest job in America?". Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ John Marelius, Maureen Magee, and Gordon Smith. "Bersin to be state education secretary". Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Bersin Considering a Run for City Attorney". 
  7. ^ "DHS Press Release, April 15, 2009". 
  8. ^ Brinkerhoff, Noel; David Wallechinsky (December 24, 2011). "Senate Republicans Block Confirmation of Head of Customs and Border Protection". AllGov. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  9. ^ "DHS Press Release, December 22, 2011". 
  10. ^ "Chip counterfeiting case exposes defense supply chain flaw, by Bruce Rayner, EE Times, October 24, 2011". 
  11. ^
  12. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
David Aguilar
Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.