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Where’s Soraya? ..And Jacksta Promoted to Assistant Commissioner

DHS industry watchers were concerned when, on a recent agenda for Reverse Industry Day, Nina Ferraro was identified as acting chief procurement officer for the department. HSToday has found out that Ferraro is temporarily in the spot while Soraya Correa takes care of some family business and will be back shortly.

HSToday has also learned that Linda Jacksta, assistant commissioner of the Office of Human Resources Management, has been promoted to deputy executive commissioner for operations. Jacksta is a member of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) executive leadership team, serving as assistant commissioner of the Office of Human Resources Management. In this role, Jacksta directs services to 60,000 employees across eight key functional areas: hiring, benefits, work-life programs, workplace safety, personnel research, executive services, business systems, and labor and employee relations.

Prior to her appointment as assistant commissioner, former Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske appointed Jacksta to serve as principal executive for the Employee Engagement Center of Excellence. She represents CBP on the DHS Deputy Secretary’s Employee Engagement Executive Steering Committee, directs a cross-cutting team of CBP executives to form employee engagement strategies, and identifies best practices relevant to the CBP and DHS. Additionally, she was called on to lead a robust resiliency program by Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, and act as lead executive for discussions with Spain on the establishment of pre-clearance operations at Madrid’s Barajas Airport.

With more than 30 years of federal service with CBP and legacy U.S. Customs, Jacksta has served in multiple leadership positions. Previously, Jacksta served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Internal Affairs, where she provided leadership and direction for a wide variety of functions including background investigations and clearances, employee misconduct investigations, operational security and management inspections, while promoting the integrity and transparency of the CBP workforce. She served as the executive director of Mission Support within the Office of Field Operations, providing critical operational support to over 28,000 CBP employees both in the domestic and international arenas with a budget of over $4 billion. Her broad portfolio included financial, logistical, information technology, and human capital management functions.

Jacksta’s other leadership roles include executive director of the Cargo Systems Program Directorate within the Office of Information and Technology, where she led one of the largest modernization programs in the federal government – the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), executive director for Enterprise Networks and Technology Support, and the acting principal deputy executive director for the Secure Border Initiative Program. Throughout Jacksta’s CBP career, she has demonstrated innovative leadership and commitment to supporting the transformation of CBP into a premier border security agency. In 2016, Jacksta received the Presidential Rank Award, the nation’s highest civil service award for her consistent efforts in solving some of the agency’s most pressing challenges across a wide spectrum of program areas.

Jacksta began her federal career with the U.S. Customs Service as an Import Specialist at the Miami International Airport. She has a broad range of knowledge spanning both operational and technology arenas.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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