Principal, Strategic Advisory Services
Jayson P. Ahern is an experienced senior government executive and security leader who for over four decades has led complex organizations in government, as well as in the private sector.
On January 2, 2010, Mr. 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 over a year as Commissioner (Acting) during the transition of Administrations and until the President nominated a new Commissioner.
For the 4 years prior, Mr. Ahern served as CBP’s Deputy Commissioner, the highest career position in the agency overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s 60,000 employee workforce and managing an operating budget of over $11 billion. Mr. Ahern’s primary focus was keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country, while also carrying out CBP’s other homeland security responsibilities and ensuring efficient movement of legitimate cross border travel and trade.
For five years, from June 2002 until August 2007, Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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 law enforcement career, which spanned over parts of four decades, he progressed through every rank in the field and held numerous senior leadership positions, including Director of Field and Port Operations in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. Mr. Ahern also served in senior counter-drug positions during two previous Headquarters assignments, overseeing planning and interdiction operations in the U.S. as well as conducting training and operational assignments in many foreign locations. In many of those foreign assignments, he led capacity building efforts assisting customs and national police entities building a more efficient and effective border management capability. He was recognized as a leading expert in public/private partnerships established to secure the global supply chain from drugs, other contrabands and human trafficking.
In 2005, President Bush conferred the rank of Distinguished Executive on Mr. Ahern in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and management contributions to the United States government. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service and contributions toward Global Maritime Security. In November 2008, Mr. Ahern was awarded the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Gold Medal in recognition of exceptionally outstanding leadership and service that is distinguished by achievements of national or international significance, reflecting great credit on the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Government by markedly improving the security of our homeland. In 2016, he was recognized for a Lifetime of Service and Excellence in Global Border Security Initiatives.
After retiring from federal service, he immediately joined The Chertoff Group (TCG) as a Principal and was one of the early members of the Firm who went on to establish and lead the Security Services Practice. In this practice he advises many Fortune 500 companies on ways to manage their risk in the areas of cyber and physical security, insider threat and other areas of risk while using a Risk Management Methodology that TCG received SAFETY Act designation from the Department of Homeland Security. He has led the Firm’s major critical infrastructure and corporate security projects throughout North America, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.
In September of 2018, he was appointed and sworn in by the Secretary of Homeland Security as a member Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) and was again sworn in for another term in March 2022 under a new Administration. He has served as Chair and Vice Chair of Subcommittees looking at southwest border migration flows, use of biometrics, and intelligence sharing with law enforcement. He serves on several private sector Advisory Boards and is often a commentator on security issues for the media, academia and in other public forums.
Mr. Ahern was a career member of the Senior Executive Service, a graduate of Northeastern University and a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Area of Focus:
- Homeland and Border Security Management
- Global Commerce and Supply Chain Security
- Crisis and Risk Management, Strategy, and Implementation
- Global Security and Capacity Building
- Counter Narcotics Planning and Operations
- Government Reorganizations and Merging of Agencies