The Honorable Jayson Ahern is a Principal with The Chertoff Group providing strategic consulting services on homeland and border security management and global commerce and supply chain matters.
In 2010, Ahern retired from 33 years of federal service to both the U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At the time of his retirement, he had served for nearly a year as CBP Acting Commissioner and was responsible for securing, managing and controlling U.S. borders.
Prior to that, Ahern served as CBP’s Deputy Commissioner, the highest career position in the agency. During his interim appointment as Acting Commissioner, 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. Ahern’s primary focus was keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country, while also carrying out CBP’s other border-related responsibilities.
For five years, from June 2002 until August 2007, 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, 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, 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.
Throughout his four decade tenure with CBP, Ahern progressed through every rank in the field and held numerous senior leadership positions, including Director of Field Operations in San Diego, where he was in charge of all customs activities at the Southern California ports of entry. He also served as the Area Port Director in Los Angeles and Miami, two of the nation’s largest and busiest operations. Ahern also served in senior counter-drug positions overseeing planning and interdiction operations in the U.S. as well as conducting training assignments in many foreign locations.
Ahern has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to the U.S. including Recognition as a Distinguished Executive for his service to the government, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service and contributions toward global maritime security and the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Gold Medal.
He received an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, was a career member of the Senior Executive Service, and a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.