Criminology Day 2018: Gil Kerlikowske

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Stiteler Hall, Room B6

208 S. 37th Street


We will be holding our annual Crim Day even on April 10. This is the day when we aim to engage the Penn community in the study of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to crime. Our keynote speaker will be Gil Kerlikowske, currently professor of practice at Northeastern, previously Kennedy School fellow, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, former drug czar, former Seattle police chief, former Buffalo chief, and chief in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie. He will be speaking on policing and border security issues.


R. Gil Kerlikowskehas a distinguished 40-year career as an urban law enforcement executive and leading the nation’s largest law enforcement organization. Appointed by President Obama, Gil has served as the only Senate-confirmed Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 2014-2017. CBP has 60,000 employees at 338 Ports of Entry and over 800 employees in 40 nations.  As Commissioner, Gil guided CBP’s mission to secure the nation’s borders while facilitating lawful international trade and travel.  The largest components of the organization are Air and Marine Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, and Agriculture Inspection.  The Agency has an annual budget of $13 billion.

Prior to his appointment to CBP, Gil served as the Senate-confirmed Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2009-2014, a cabinet-level position.  In his role, he initiated the first President’s Strategy on Prescription Drugs, authored the President’s National Drug Control Strategy, and co-authored (with John Brennan) the President’s Trans-National Organized Crime Strategy.

Under the Clinton Administration, Gil was the Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services 1998-2000 where he oversaw $6 billion of government assets aimed at reforming law enforcement policy and operations.     

Gil served as the Chief of Police in two large, urban organizations where he instituted significant organizational change.  In Seattle (WA), between 2000-2009, he oversaw the organization in the aftermath of the World Trade Organization disorder—completely    restructuring Seattle’s response to major international incidents and demonstrations.  In Buffalo (NY), between 1994-1998, Gil was the first “outside” (the Buffalo Police Department) Commissioner in 30 years.  He transformed the Department to a community policing organization, winning the praise of both local residents and national leaders.  He was twice elected President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, comprised of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for his leadership and innovation.