Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller is again the acting commissioner of the agency after Commissioner Chris Magnus resigned Saturday, less than a year after being sworn in to lead the component.
Miller also served in this role from January to December 2021. During his prior acting commissioner role, Miller led the agency through myriad challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, surges of migration along the Southwest border, hurricane relief efforts, and Operation Allies Welcome – the substantive effort to process refugees fleeing Afghanistan. Miller also made workforce resiliency a top priority during his initial tenure as acting commissioner of the nation’s largest law enforcement agency.
Between December 2021 and Magnus’ departure, Miller served as CBP’s deputy commissioner. In this role, he was the agency’s senior career official, overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s expansive mission, including matters relating to trade, travel, and national security.
Miller also previously served as the director of field operations for CBP’s New York Field Office. As the DFO, he directed the activities of almost 3,000 CBP employees and an area with: two of the country’s busiest international airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR); the east coast’s largest container seaport (New York/Newark); and the Pharmaceutical, Health and Chemicals Center of Excellence and Expertise (PHC Center). Miller oversaw CBP’s national security and anti-terrorism operations, immigration and agriculture inspections, and the agency’s trade enforcement efforts throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Prior to his role as DFO, Miller also served as the Executive Director, National Targeting Center (NTC), where he directed over 800 employees and was responsible for providing advance targeting, research, analysis, and coordination among numerous law enforcement and intelligence agencies in support of CBP anti-terrorism mission on a 24/7 basis. The NTC is the principal organization responsible for developing and implementing CBP’s counterterrorism strategy. Miller implemented several intelligence and targeting units that support CBP’s primary mission to secure America’s borders and he oversaw staff that use a multi-layered risk-based approach, which included collecting and analyzing advance traveler and cargo information.
From 2013 to 2015, Miller served as the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Intelligence and Investigative Liaison, where he initiated an organizational restructuring in direct support of field components and border enforcement entities that partner with them and promoted initiatives to transcend physical borders. In addition, he has held numerous leadership positions including Assistant Port Director, Seattle; Director of Targeting and Analysis, Office of Intelligence and Operations Coordination; and Director of the National Targeting Center-Passenger.
Miller began his federal career with the U.S. Customs Service in 1993 as a Customs Inspector. Most recently, he was awarded the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2021, and he is a prior recipient of the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2016.
Last December, Magnus became the first confirmed CBP commissioner since 2019 by a Senate vote of 50-47.
CBP’s previous Senate-confirmed commissioner, Kevin McAleenan, assumed the duties of acting Homeland Security secretary and then resigned that fall. John Sanders only served in the acting commissioner role for fewer than three months before Mark Morgan was moved into the acting commissioner post and served in that capacity until the end of the Trump administration.
Magnus told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that he had been asked by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to step down but refused. He said access to his official Twitter account had been blocked.
Magnus’ resignation letter to Biden was brief: “Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Senate confirmed Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the past year. It has been a privilege and honor to be part of your administration.”
“I am submitting my resignation effective immediately but wish you and your administration the very best going forward,” Magnus added. “Thank you again for this tremendous opportunity.”