Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, John Wagner answers questions from the media at Dulles International Airport on Sept. 6, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

CBP Biometrics Leader John Wagner Announces Retirement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner will be retiring next month.

Wagner has been assigned to CBP headquarters in D.C. since 1999 and was appointed to his current role in the Office of Field Operations (OFO) in April 2014. He has been instrumental in transforming the way CBP does business in the 21st century, including through the Global Entry program, Mobile Passport Control, and Automated Passport Control kiosks for international travelers.

Wagner has also advanced the use of facial biometrics in entry/exit to screening more than 50 million travelers.

He joined the U.S. Customs Service as a customs inspector in 1991, and worked at the New York/New Jersey seaport and Port of Laredo, Texas. Wagner is a Long Island native with a psychology degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

In a note announcing his imminent departure, Wagner said his last day at CBP, after more than 28 years on the job, would be July 18. He noted that he’s sad to leave and at the same time “a bit enthusiastic about what new challenges lie ahead.”

“You have helped me learn that the real value in accomplishing something is not simply in the results, but in the trusting relationships that you build along the way,” Wagner wrote. “The goals of government and industry can be mutually solved together. We proved it time and time again.”

“I leave behind a legacy of signature government services and programs, but none of that would be possible without your support and ┬átrust,” he added.

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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