Gil Kerlikowske

Former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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At the Podium

In an age of unprecedented global trade and commerce, the need to understand global supply chains, imports, and international regulations is more crucial now than ever before. As the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, Gil Kerlikowske sat at the nexus of international trade entering and exiting the United States. With his years of experience and in-depth analysis, Gil provides audiences the information and insight that is necessary to navigate the complex world of global commerce and manage global supply chains. Gil has an unparalleled understanding of how to improve supply chain efficiency, of how trade negotiations affect bottom lines, and of how to deal with international security requirements and threats across the globe.

In addition to his role in overseeing American global commerce, Gil was on the front lines of securing America’s border from criminals, cartels, and terrorists. Drawing on these experiences, Gil gives an unbiased and frank assessment on the state of America’s borders, our national security, and the opioid crisis. Having combated these important challenges and having overseen an agency with more than 60,000 employees, Gil imparts crucial lessons about management, resource allocation, communication, and organizational leadership to organizations of all types.

About Gil Kerlikowske

Gil Kerlikowske is a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School, Harvard University. Previously, he served as the only Senate-confirmed Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 2014-2017. CBP has 60,000 employees at 338 Ports of Entry and over 800 people overseas. CBP is responsible for securing the nation’s borders and facilitating lawful trade and travel. The largest components are Customs and Border Protection officers, the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations, and Agriculture inspectors.

Mr. Kerlikowske also served as the Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a cabinet level position, from 2009-2014. In this role, he initiated the first President’s Strategy on Prescription Drugs and also authored the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and co-authored the President’s Transnational Organized Crime Strategy.

He was the Deputy Director of President Clinton’s Community Oriented Policing Services, 1998-2000, and was Police Commissioner in Buffalo, 1994-1998, and he served as Chief of Police in Seattle, 2000-2009. He was twice elected as President of the Major Cities Chiefs, the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition. He earned a BA and MA from the University of South Florida and is an Army veteran receiving the Presidential Service Badge.

Speech Topics

  • 21st Century Commerce: How Regulations, International Security, and Trade Affect Global Supply Chains
  • Secure Borders: Myths, Realities, and the Impact on American Business
  • Travel, Tourism, and Business: Balancing American Security with the Demands of Globalization

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