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May 5, 2000

INS Names New District Director for Seattle

SEATTLE, Wash. — Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner Doris Meissner today announced the selection of Robert S. Coleman Jr. as the new Director of the Seattle District. Coleman has served as the Acting District Director for the Seattle Office since December, before that he was the Deputy District Director for Seattle.

"Mr. Coleman has demonstrated the professionalism and management skills required for success as an INS district director. Immigration issues are playing a central role in Seattle’s vitality. Mr. Coleman’s leadership is a good match," said Commissioner Meissner.

As Acting District Director, Coleman coordinated INS’ response to a number of recent critical situations, including the heightened terrorist threat that preceded Y2K and the smuggling of Chinese migrants in container ships. These recent incidents highlight the importance of the INS presence in the Northwest. As District Director, Coleman will be responsible for all INS operations within the Seattle District, which encompasses Washington State, 10 counties in northern Idaho, and pre-inspection responsibilities in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

"Mr. Coleman is a proven professional, and we’re fortunate to have someone with his talents in this crucial district," said Johnny Williams, INS Regional Director.

"I am extremely happy to accept this position, I have enjoyed working with the greater Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest community and am looking forward to building and maintaining relationships with those who want to work with INS," Coleman said. "One of my top priorities will be listening to our employees, community groups and others who want to make the Seattle District a model for the rest of the nation."

Coleman, 43, began his career with INS as a Border Patrol Agent in 1980 in San Clemente, California. He was promoted in 1987 to Supervisory Border Patrol Agent in El Paso, Texas and in 1989 was assigned as the Patrol Agent in Charge in Fort Hancock, Texas. While stationed in Texas, he also served as the Acting Deputy Commander of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC). He additionally served as a BORTAC team leader for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Bolivia.

In 1991, Coleman was assigned to INS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he worked for the Border Patrol, dealing primarily with drug interdiction policy and operations issues. While in Headquarters, he was assigned to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as a senior policy analyst in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. He was also the INS Representative to the Office of Investigative Policies in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. He was promoted to Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the Spokane Border Patrol Sector in August 1994 and to INS Deputy District Director in Seattle in 1996.

Coleman is originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was raised in Bordentown, New Jersey and is married to the former Catherine Lynn Lovell, also of Bordentown. They have one son, Sterling.

– INS –