Browning to leave U.S. Customs
Douglas Browning, deputy commissioner for the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, said he will retire from the agency he has served for 28 years, effective April 1.
Browning has been the top aide to Commissioner Robert Bonner for the past two years. In his capacity as chief operating officer, Browning played a key role in managing the transition of U.S. Customs, and its 42,000 employees, from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security last year.
“I can’t say enough about what Doug has done during the last year to create ‘one face at the border,' one federal agency to manage, control and secure our nation’s borders. He has been a key player in the unification of Customs and Border Protection,” Bonner said in a statement.
Browning began his Customs career in 1977 as a staff attorney in the Office of Regulations and Rulings. The office serves as the in-house legal counsel for the agency and issues fines and penalties for violations of customs trade laws. Browning rose through the ranks, first as senior counsel for international enforcement in the Office of Chief Counsel, then as a district director in Baltimore, followed by a long stint as assistant commissioner for the Office of International Affairs, from March 1994 until May 2002, when Bonner promoted him to his current post.
During the Western Cargo Conference last November, Browning warned that the Customs Bureau faced the possibility of losing experience at its highest ranks because most of the agency’s assistant commissioners were nearing retirement age, but never hinting at his own intentions.