U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner was honored with the DHS Outstanding Service Medal in advance of his Saturday retirement from the department.
Wagner was presented the medal Wednesday in a ceremony with Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.
“I wish John Wagner well in his retirement. In his 28 years of service, he has been instrumental in modernizing & innovating the travel experience, including launching Global Entry. He has left an indelible mark on @CBP. We’re very grateful for all his contributions to the agency!” Morgan tweeted.
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 June note announcing his departure, Wagner said 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 trust,” he added.