U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan D. Bersin submitted his resignation Dec. 22 to President Barack Obama, effective Dec. 30.
Bersin, a recess appointment by President Obama, took office on March 30, 2010, with the same power and authority as if he had been confirmed. Although the Senate held confirmation hearings in 2010, the appointment was never put to a vote, and his term was to expire on Dec. 31, 2011.
In his two years as commissioner, Bersin refocused some of CBP's attention on trade facilitation and increased the agency's collaboration and communication with the trade community. One example is a program currently under way that will streamline and speed up the customs clearance and duty settlement process for approved importers. (See "Customs moves ahead with trade facilitation initiatives," Nov. 21, 2011.)
In his announcement, Bersin said his service as CBP commissioner "has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my public life" and gave credit to the agency's 58,000 employees for its accomplishments during his term in office.
Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar will serve as CBP's acting commissioner, according to the Department of Homeland Security.