Alan Bersin was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in April, 2009 as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In that capacity, he serves as the Secretary's lead representative on Border Affairs and Mexico, for developing DHS strategy regarding security, immigration, narcotics, and trade matters affecting Mexico and for coordinating the Secretary's security initiatives on the nation's borders. Prior to his current service, Bersin served as Chairman of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Previously, Mr. Bersin served as California’s Secretary of Education between July 2005 and December 2006 in the Administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Between 1998 and 2005, he served as Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego and from 2000 to 2003 served as a member and then Chairman of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prior to becoming the leader of the nation’s eighth largest urban school district, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California and confirmed in that capacity by the U.S. Senate. Mr. Bersin served as U.S. Attorney for nearly five years and as the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative responsible for coordinating federal law enforcement on the border from South Texas to Southern California. Mr. Bersin previously was a senior partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Mr. Bersin received his A.B. in Government from Harvard University (magna cum laude) and attended Balliol College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1974, he received his J.D. degree from the Yale Law School.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
New Commissioner Nominated
President Obama has finally nominated Alan Bersin to serve at Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Here is his official bio:
Let's deconstruct that a bit. He's a smart guy: Harvard, Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law. Has a law enforcement background: U.S. Attorney and AG's guy in the southwest. But a public service guy: Education jobs in California. Now at DHS on border affairs. So it seems he has a solid background in law enforcement but also in the management of an agency with completely different objectives (i.e., education). The education job was probably as much about managing a multi-headed beast with too few resources as it was about actual education policy.
So, with that in mind, I am cautiously optimistic.