*Confirmed speakers as of March 9, 2018 and subject to change; please check back for updates and additions.
Former DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs;
Former CBP Commissioner (retired)
Bio coming soon.
Director General, Uruguay Customs
Bio coming soon.
Chief Transformation Officer, Canada Border Services Agency
Bio coming soon.
Executive Director, eu-LISA
Mr Krum Garkov is the Executive Director of eu-LISA since 1 November 2012.
He has more than 15 years of cross-cultural experiences spanning the public and private sectors, complemented by two Master degrees in the area of information technology and a MBA.
Mr Garkov is a goal-oriented, innovative technology strategist driving large-scale global operations to optimize IT portfolio management and operational efficiency.
From 2007 until taking up the ED post in eu-LISA Mr Garkov was Operations Director for the Experian Group ltd., a leading global information provider serving the finance industry. He commanded all delivery centre operations and ensured the alignment of technology solutions with business objectives across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
Prior to that, Mr Garkov worked as a Program Manager at Hewlett Packard, a major technology company, where he was responsible for key program initiatives, including a large-scale data centre consolidation and application portfolio consolidation and integration.
From 2003 to 2006 he served the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency as a CIO, where he delivered several successful initiatives, including country-wide implementation of a new core revenue management system and infrastructure. He also led the agency to receive recognition as the first-class ICT organization.
In 1996 Mr Krum joined the Centre for Mass Privatization (Bulgaria), the specialized government agency overseeing privatization of public assets in Bulgaria. In the Centre Mr Krum shared various responsibilities. Initially he was appointed National Coordination Senior Expert to manage information technology strategy and operations. Within two years he was named Deputy Director of ICT.
Krum Garkov holds a M.Sc. in Computer Technologies from Technical University (Varna, Bulgaria) and an MBA in Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey, United States). He received executive education from London School of Business & Finance (London, United Kingdom) with a Master of Business Administration in Management Consulting.
About the Agency
eu-LISA, with its seat in Tallinn, fulfils the operational management tasks for the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), Visa Information System (VIS) and EURODAC. The Agency thereby supports the implementation of the EU’s border management, asylum and migration policies. The Agency started its operations on 1 December 2012.
The headquarters of the Agency is in Tallinn (Estonia), while the operational management of the large-scale systems is carried out in Strasbourg (France) with a backup site in Sankt Johann im Pongau (Austria).
Director General, Finnish Customs
Mr. Antti Hartikainen is the Director General of the Finnish Customs. He has worked previously in the Finnish Border Guard, where he made the rank of Colonel before moving to Customs in May 2012.
In Border Guard Mr. Hartikainen begun his career in 1984 from the level of working at a Border Guard Station and gradually moved to the positions of Director for International Affairs and the Head of Finance and Planning in the BG Department of the MoI.
On the international level Mr. Hartikainen’s career is equally long and varied. His international career spans from position of the Head of EU Integrated Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) to working as the Team Leader of the EU Advisory Group to the Republic of Armenia and e.g. Deputy Head of EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM Moldova and Ukraine).
Acting Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Thomas D. Homan is the acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the principal investigative agency of the Department of Homeland Security. He became acting Director on January 30, 2017.
In his capacity as acting Director, Mr. Homan 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.
Since 2013, Mr. Homan has served as the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). In this capacity, he led ICE’s efforts to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts.
Mr. Homan is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience. He has served as a police officer in New York; a U.S. Border Patrol agent; a special agent with the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; as well as supervisory special agent and deputy assistant director for investigations at ICE. In 1999, Mr. Homan became the assistant district director for investigations (ADDI) in San Antonio, Texas, and three years later transferred to the ADDI position in Dallas, Texas.
Upon the creation of ICE, Mr. Homan was named as the assistant agent in charge in Dallas. In March 2009, Mr. Homan accepted the position of assistant director for enforcement within ERO at ICE headquarters and was subsequently promoted to deputy executive associate director of ERO.
Mr. Homan holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and received the Presidential Rank Award in 2015 for his exemplary leadership and extensive accomplishments in the area of immigration enforcement.
Jean-François (Jeff) Lennon
Vice-President Sales & Marketing
Executive Board Member Vision-Box HQ – Lisbon, Portugal
Bio coming soon.
Kevin K. McAleenan
Kevin K. McAleenan became Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection January 20, 2017.
As the agency’s chief executive, Mr. McAleenan oversees 60,000 employees, manages a budget of over $13 billion, and ensures the effective operations of CBP’s efforts to protect national security while promoting economic prosperity and security. Mr. McAleenan directs CBP’s three core missions, counterterrorism, border security, and trade enforcement, while facilitating $4 Trillion in trade and facilitating travel of over 365 million people through ports of entry. He oversees the largest law enforcement agency and the second-largest revenue collecting source in the federal government.
Mr. McAleenan previously served as Deputy Commissioner from November 2, 2014, until his appointment to Acting Commissioner. In this role, he served as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and senior career official. Under Mr. McAleenan’s leadership, CBP has developed strategies that protect the nation’s borders from terrorism and attack transnational criminal networks. Mr. McAleenan has also implemented innovations that have facilitated the U.S. international arrival and departure process, saving the government and travel industry millions of dollars. He has also advanced the development of CBP’s trade transformation agenda, designed to help America compete in the global economy.
Mr. McAleenan has previously held several leadership positions at CBP and one of its legacy agencies, the U.S. Customs Service. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. McAleenan served as the Area Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport, directing CBP’s border security operations at LAX and 17 other airport facilities in one of CBP’s largest field commands. In December 2011, Mr. McAleenan was named acting Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations. In this position, he led agency operations to secure the U.S. border while expediting lawful trade and travel at 329 ports of entry in the United States and 70 international locations in more than 40 countries.
Mr. McAleenan received a 2015 Presidential Rank Award, the nation’s highest civil service award. He also received the Service to America Medal, Call to Service Award, in 2005 for spearheading efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive antiterrorism strategy in the border security context after September 11, 2001.
Mr. McAleenan has been a member of the U.S. Government’s Senior Executive Service since 2006. Prior to government service, Mr. McAleenan practiced law in California. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell
Los Angeles County, CA
On December 1, 2014, Jim McDonnell took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 32nd Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
Sheriff McDonnell is a Boston native who grew up in a working class neighborhood a stone’s throw from Fenway Park. He came to Los Angeles over three decades ago with little more than a dream to be part of protecting and serving the public. He was born to immigrant parents who instilled in him the values that have served as the guideposts throughout his life: hard work, integrity and treating all people with respect. He began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a twenty-two-year-old graduate from the Los Angeles Police Academy.
Sheriff McDonnell served for 29 years at the Los Angeles Police Department, where he held every rank from Police Officer to second-in-command under Chief Bill Bratton. During his time at the LAPD, he earned that Department’s highest honor for bravery, the Medal of Valor, and led LAPD through the implementation of significant reforms. He helped create the blueprint for LAPD’s community-based policing efforts that have now become a model for law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.
For five years, Sheriff McDonnell served as the Chief of the Long Beach Police Department. In that role, he implemented numerous improvements that resulted in safer communities, increased morale, and enhanced community relations.
From his first day on the job, Sheriff McDonnell has stressed the importance of treating all members of our community with respect, being transparent with and accountable to the individuals that the LASD serves, and creating an environment that recognizes and rewards character, competence and compassion. He is committed to ensuring that safe streets and neighborhoods enable all residents and businesses in L.A.’s diverse County to thrive. He is also a believer in prevention-oriented strategies and dedicated to proactively addressing the root causes of crime — including mental illness, homelessness and the challenges facing youth at risk.
Sheriff McDonnell brings to the LASD decades of experience and strong relationships with law enforcement and government leaders. He is a proven and respected voice in local, state, and national criminal justice organizations, having served as President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association, President of the California Peace Officers’ Association, a member (appointed by both Governor Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger) of the California Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards & Training (POST), and a board member of the Peace Officers’ Association of Los Angeles County.
While Sheriff McDonnell never served inside the LASD, he served alongside it his entire career. He has both an outsider’s ability to assess areas that might warrant new thinking, as well as an insider’s knowledge of a Department he has admired through his decades of work in Los Angeles. From 2011 to 2012, he became familiar with challenges facing the LASD during his service as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence — a blue ribbon group created by the County Board of Supervisors to investigate the validity and causes of allegations of excessive force within the LASD’s Custody Division. The Commission issued a detailed report, including 63 recommendations that have become a roadmap for change within the Department.
Sheriff McDonnell is also a believer in the importance of education, both in the classroom and on the job. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute and has completed executive education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
He and his wife Kathy live in Long Beach. He has two daughters — Kelly who is in law school and Megan pursuing a graduate degree in film school.
Secretary, Department of Home Affairs,
Immigration and Border Protection, Australia
Michael Pezzullo was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with effect 13 October 2014.
Prior to this, Mr Pezzullo was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service from February 2013 and acted in the role from September 2012. Mr Pezzullo first joined the Service as the Chief Operating Officer in July 2009. In that role, he was responsible for offshore maritime security, border-related intelligence, national security and law enforcement programmes, integrity and professional standards, and corporate operations. As principal deputy, he chaired the Service’s Operations Committee and acted as CEO when required.
Prior to joining the Service, he was Deputy Secretary Strategy in the Department of Defence—a position to which he was appointed in January 2006. In this position, he was responsible for defence strategy and planning, force structure development, the strategic policy aspects of Australian Defence Force operations, Defence’s international security relationships, and the delivery of national security programmes in areas such as export controls, counter-proliferation and Defence cooperation with other countries. He also had oversight of the Department’s ministerial support and public affairs programmes.
Mr Pezzullo joined the Department of Defence as a graduate in 1987. He worked in Defence until 1992 in a variety of strategic policy and intelligence positions. He then transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where he worked in the International Division.
In March 1993, he joined the staff of the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC. He remained in Parliament House until December 2001, including serving five years as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Kim Beazley MP.
In February 2002, he rejoined the Department of Defence as an Assistant Secretary in the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group (now Defence Support Group). In March 2004, he was promoted to the position of Head Infrastructure. In July 2004, he was transferred into the newly formed role of Chief Of Staff Australian Defence Headquarters and Head of Coordination and Public Affairs Division.
Between February 2008 and May 2009 he led the Defence White Paper team and was also the principal author of the 2009 Defence White Paper.
Mr Pezzullo has a BA (Hons) in History from Sydney University. He enjoys being with his family, cricket and rugby league, and reading (anything on military history, international relations, intelligence, and political biography for starters).
Former Assistant Secretary,
Department of Homeland Security
Seth Stodder is a lawyer, writer, law professor, and frequent commentator on national security issues, borders and immigration, international trade, privacy, and constitutional law.
Until recently, he served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Border, Immigration & Trade Policy and, prior to that, as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Threat Prevention & Security Policy. In those roles, he led teams advising DHS leadership and developing policy on border security, immigration and visa policy, trade, screening and vetting of individuals for national security purposes, law enforcement matters, cyber encryption and surveillance issues, and the negotiation of international information sharing agreements aimed at interdicting the movement of foreign terrorist fighters through global transportation systems. He oversaw the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, represented DHS on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), and served as Co-Chair of the DHS Task Force on the use of social media for vetting purposes, consistent with privacy rights and civil liberties, stood up in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. He also oversaw all DHS international engagements with the countries of the Western Hemisphere, as well as other countries around the world, leading negotiations and bilateral discussions with various countries, including Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and the Five Eyes countries, among others.
Earlier in his career, he served in the George W. Bush Administration as Director of Policy and Planning for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Counselor/Senior Policy Advisor to Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks. He currently teaches national security and counterterrorism law at the University of Southern California Law School, and in between tours of government service, has practiced law in the private sector and led a homeland security consulting firm. He is a Senior Associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was a German Marshall Memorial Fellow, and is a Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He received his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School, and his B.A. from Haverford College.
Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Ronald D. Vitiello became the Acting Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on April 25, 2017.
Since February 1, 2017, he has been the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. As its chief operating officer, he was responsible for the daily operations of the U.S. Border Patrol and reported to the Commissioner of CBP, assisting in planning and directing nationwide enforcement and administrative operations.
Chief Vitiello entered on duty with the Border Patrol in 1985 as a member of Class 174. His first duty assignment as a Border Patrol agent was at the Laredo Station in the Laredo Sector, where he also served as a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent. As an agent and supervisor, he participated in Special Response Team operations and was instrumental in the formation of the Laredo Sector Criminal Alien Program.
In June 1997, he served as a Deputy Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol at the Central Region Office in Dallas, Texas, where he oversaw the regional implementation of Operation Rio Grande. In June 2000, he was selected as a Special Operations Supervisor at the Nogales Station in the Tucson Sector. During his time in Arizona, Chief Vitiello worked extensively in the Tucson Sector Community Relations Office. He was later promoted to Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge of the Nogales Station.
In November 2002, he was selected as an Assistant Chief at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. While at Headquarters, Chief Vitiello was one of the key contributors in the unification of CBP and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
In January 2005, he was promoted to Chief Patrol Agent of the Swanton Sector in Vermont and held that position until July 2007, when he was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service and promoted to Chief Patrol Agent of the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas. There, Chief Vitiello was appointed as the Lead U.S. CBP Hurricane Preparedness Coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region VI. He was responsible for deploying personnel and resources to a national domestic incident site, representing the CBP Commissioner as the Lead Field Coordinator, and leading more than 12,000 CBP employees in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
In 2010, he was assigned as the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol until July 2016, when he was promoted to the Executive Assistant Commissioner of Operations Support.
Ronald D. Vitiello is 53 years old, married with two children, and a native of Chicago, Illinois.
John P. Wagner
Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner
Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
John P. Wagner became Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations (OFO), on April 6, 2014.
He has been assigned to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Headquarters in Washington DC since 1999, and has worked on numerous policy and operational issues.
Mr. Wagner has been a leader in developing many of OFO’s successful business transformation efforts. These include the deployment of the internationally acclaimed Global Entry program and the Automated Passport Control kiosks for international travelers.
OFO includes nearly 29,000 employees with more than 22,000 CBP Officers and CBP Agriculture Specialists that protect U.S. borders. An annual operating budget of $3.2 billion provides for operations at 328 ports of entry, and many programs that support the national security, immigration, customs, and commercial trade-related missions of CBP.
A native of Long Island, NY, Mr. Wagner graduated from the State University of New York at Albany, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. He began his Federal law enforcement career in 1991 when he joined the U.S. Customs Service as a Customs Inspector.
Mr. Wagner worked at the New York/New Jersey seaport and the Port of Laredo, TX before being assigned to Headquarters. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows course at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.
Commissioner Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Singapore
Bio coming soon.