Alan Bersin - Senior Advisor, Covington & Burling LLP
Alan Bersin serves as Senior Advisor at the global law firm of Covington & Burling; as an Inaugural Senior Fellow in the Homeland Security Project at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; as a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC; and as Inaugural North America Fellow at the Canada Institute and the Mexico Institute (Wilson Center). He is Executive Chairman of Altana AI, an enterprise devoted to providing a shared artificial intelligence model of the global supply chain to help governments, enterprises, and financial institutions to see across borders, manage risk, and improve global commerce; and Chairman of BorderWorks Group, a consulting firm specializing in matters of border security and management, including infrastructure projects on U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico.
Between 2012 and 2017, Bersin served (at various times) as Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In those capacities, he led DHS’s transnational engagement, served as the principal advisor to the Secretary on international affairs, and oversaw strategic planning and policy formulation functions. Between 2012 and 2015, Bersin served as Vice President of INTERPOL for the Americas Region and as a member of the INTERPOL Executive Committee. He currently serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the INTERPOL Foundation based in Geneva.
Previously, Mr. Bersin served as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2010 to 2011, a position from which he oversaw the operations of CBP’s 58,000-employee work force and managed an operating budget of more than $12 billion. Bersin guided CBP’s efforts to secure the nation’s borders and mitigate threats while expediting lawful trade and travel. In 2009, Bersin served as Assistant Secretary and Special Representative for Border Affairs, acting as lead representative for DHS on border affairs and strategy regarding security, immigration, narcotics, and trade matters as well as coordinating the department’s security initiatives along U.S. borders.
Prior to his DHS experience, President Bill Clinton appointed, and the U.S. Senate confirmed, Bersin to serve in the Department of Justice as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California a position he held for nearly five years. During this time, he was the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative (the so-called Borer Czar) responsible for coordinating federal law enforcement on the border from South Texas to Southern California.
Bersin has also held numerous distinguished state and local government positions, including serving as California's Secretary of Education, Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego, and Chairman of the San Diego Airport Authority. Before entering public service, Bersin was a senior partner in the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He received his A.B. in Government from Harvard College (magna cum laude), attended Balliol College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1974, he received his J.D. from the Yale Law School. Bersin is a current member of the Bars of California, Alaska, and District of Columbia.
Luc Portelance is a bilingual, seasoned executive with extensive experience leading large, complex, and high-profile operational organizations in the field of public safety and national security. His 36 year career with the Canadian Government is highlighted by seven years with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), where he served as President (2010-2015) and Executive Vice-President (2008 -2010).
Previously, he spent 24 years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) including key leadership positions such as Assistant Director Corporate, Assistant Director Operations and finally, Deputy Director Operations. He began his career in 1979 with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) prior to joining CSIS in 1984. Luc Portelance’s expertise in border management, intelligence, law enforcement, and public policy is the result of his hands- on experience leading Canada’s most sensitive national security operations, and his role in modernizing the border agency. Over the years, he has developed a proven track record in delivering organizational change and transformation including: business re-engineering, IT-enabled transformation, operational efficiency, downsizing, service orientation, and culture change.
In December 2015, Luc Portelance founded CrossPoint Integrated Strategies, Inc. where he now provides consulting services and executive coaching in a variety of fields associated with his area of expertise.
Stewart Verdery - CEO, Monument Advocacy
After founding Monument Advocacy in 2006, Stewart has built the firm into one of Washington’s premier, boutique advocacy firms. As CEO, he is the driving force behind the organization’s mission and vision, which has led to “explosive growth” according to the Washington Post. A major policymaker and influencer, Stewart has served in high-ranking government positions in both the Executive Branch and in Congress and acted as a senior advisor to leaders at some of the world’s best-known corporate brands. A frequent guest on CNN and Fox News, he is regularly quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Axios, Recode, Politico, The Hill and other influential media outlets.
Prior to launching Monument, Stewart served as the first Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), following his unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. At DHS’s Border and Transportation Security Directorate, he oversaw agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration and led efforts to develop and implement policies related to immigration, visas, and travel facilitation; cargo security and international trade; transportation security; and law enforcement. He worked extensively with foreign governments, testified frequently before Congress and represented the Administration publicly on a diverse set of issues. Stewart also chaired official government advisory committees on international trade and tourism and served on the President’s Advisory Committee to Protect Americans’ Civil Liberties.
Before joining the Bush Administration, Stewart served as General Counsel to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Don Nickles (R-Okla.), where he played a major role on a wide range of policy issues including law enforcement, commerce, nominations, constitutional law, campaign finance, and telecommunications. He also oversaw the creation and management of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force. Stewart also served as Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and to Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Chairman John Warner (R-Va.). Stewart’s private sector experience also includes positions at Vivendi Universal Entertainment and the law firm Baker & Hostetler.
Stewart is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Migration Policy Institute, and serves as a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Advisory Circle, and the MITRE Homeland Security Advisory Board. He was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and has served on several corporate boards and numerous think-tank task forces. He holds a degree from Williams College, a J.D. from the University of Virginia and graduated from the Woodberry Forest School, where he serves on the Board of Trustees and formerly chaired the Board of Advisors.
Stewart and his wife Jenny live in Washington, D.C. with their three children.