DHS looking for a few good private-sector executives

Executive Team (Shutterstock Image)

The two Department of Homeland Security agencies in charge of airport, port and border security want some private-sector help in developing the next-generation IT and other technology that will speed U.S. travel and tourism processes.

The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection last week jointly announced a slew of openings under DHS's Loaned Executive Program, which brings private-sector executives into federal agencies for unpaid six-month assignments.

DHS established the program in 2008 to tap executive-level and subject-matter experts to share their knowledge. Participating executives continue to receive their private-sector salaries and benefits during their stints, which come with an option for an additional six months.

With the latest round of openings, DHS is looking to speed the electronic and physical processes for tourists entering the U.S., according to DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The May 7 announcement by TSA and CBP marks the first time the agencies have participated in the program. The resume deadline is May 27.

Among the positions the two agencies are looking to fill are senior advisor for self-service technology, senior advisor for metrics and senior advisor for the Office of Biometrics Identity Management.

The metrics advisor, said the TSA/CBP notice, will help clarify issues related to collection and analysis of data on airport systems flow for international travelers. The agencies want a senior-level executive with extensive experience in data collection and analysis involving complex systems or operations.

The senior advisor for the Office of Biometrics Identity Management will advise the director and deputy director of the Office of Biometric Identity Management  in the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

That executive, according to the notice, should be able to leverage knowledge of emerging technologies to recommend improvements to major enterprise applications, identify tools to optimize IT system performance and develop and promote collaborative/joint technology solutions to improve services to enhance mission effectiveness.

The self-service technology adviser, said the notice, will help TSA and CBP clarify issues about development and deployment of enterprise-level self-service technologies.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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Reader comments

Thu, May 15, 2014

That figures. We ask private sector experts to work for free to fix problems that paid department staff cannot. At the end, paid staff will probably get a bonus for the improvements made by volunteers.

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