On Monday, November 6, 2017, IAfS hosted Heather McLeod, International Relations Specialist & Program Manager, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Throughout her engaging lecture, Heather discussed the adoption of the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), as well as the role of the interagency. She examined the layers of interagency work, and provided examples of interagency negotiations with SGI. Furthermore, she highlighted the role of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at home and abroad, and emphasized the challenges DHS faces, especially considering it is a relatively new and large organization. She also discussed the importance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in security and counterterrorism efforts through the example of its role in Africa.
Those in attendance were eager to ask Heather various questions during and after her lecture, and utilized the discussion as a key opportunity to dispel misconceptions about the role of DHS and CBP overseas. Attendees also learned about the different strategies employed to achieve successful interagency negotiations, and the collaborative efforts used by these agencies to work together (i.e. with the Department of State) to best accommodate the requests and needs of other countries relating to border protection and security. Heather also discussed her current role working on border protection in Mexico in light of the Trump Administration’s security initiatives.
The lecture ended on a positive note, citing that there has been a strong interest and funding initiated by the White House for increased DHS and CBP involvement in Africa.