Wilson Center Experts
Alan Bersin commenced service as Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security on January 3, 2012. In that capacity, he oversees the Department's international engagement and serves as the principal advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano on all international affairs. Previously, Bersin served as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection where he oversaw the operations of CBP's 57,000-employee work force and managed an operating budget of more than $11 billion geared to protecting the nation's borders from all threats while expediting lawful trade and travel. Previously, Mr. Bersin served as California's Secretary of Education in the Administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gov. Schwarzenegger also appointed Mr. Bersin to the State Board of Education, where he served until 2009 as a member confirmed by the California State Senate. He received his J.D. degree from the Yale Law School and his A.B. in Government from Harvard University (magna cum laude).