Commissioner of Customs: Robert C. Bonner
Robert C. Bonner is Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security. CBP is comprised of 35,000 federal employees, which includes 17,000 inspectors and canine enforcement officers from the APHIS-Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program, INS inspection services, and the Customs Service, and 10,000 Border Patrol Agents.
Prior to that, Robert C. Bonner served as Commissioner of the United States Customs Service, nominated by President George W. Bush on June 24, 2001. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on September 19, 2001, and he was sworn in as the 17th Commissioner of U.S. Customs on September 24, 2001.
Commissioner Bonner served as an Assistant United States Attorney, as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, as a United States District Judge, and as the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Commissioner Bonner is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Georgetown School of Law. After clerking for a U.S. District Judge, he served for three years on active duty in the United States Navy, Judge Advocate General's Corps. Following his service in the military, Commissioner Bonner spent four and one half years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles before turning to private practice in 1975.
In 1984, Commissioner Bonner returned to public service after he was appointed by President Reagan to be the United States Attorney for the Central District of California (1984-1989). He was subsequently appointed by former President George Bush in 1989 to serve as United States District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (1989-1990). Former President Bush went on to appoint him as Administrator of the DEA in 1990 (1990-1993).
Immediately prior to assuming his duties at the U.S. Customs Service, Commissioner Bonner was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. A member of the firm's Litigation Department, Commissioner Bonner's practice focused on business crime matters, governmental investigatory and regulatory actions, complex civil cases, and alternative dispute resolution. He has varied and extensive experience as a trial lawyer, having tried over 70 cases to verdict or judgment. He is a recognized national expert on crime, justice and drug issues.
Commissioner Bonner is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a past president of the Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Chapter. He was the Chairman of California's Commission on Judicial Performance (1997-99), and is a member of the California and District of Columbia bars. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.