U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a Change of Command Ceremony to formally instate Donald R. Kusser, formerly Assistant Port Director, Tactical Operations, of the LA/Long Beach Seaport, as Port Director for the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) overseeing Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), and John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Ontario, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Victorville and Van Nuys user fee and international air cargo operations.
“Mr. Kusser will oversee some of the great innovations efforts we are taking in this agency from biometric technology to data analytics, but most importantly he’ll be the leader of a resilient workforce, and the public is counting in our resiliency to keep them safe and keep the economy moving,” said John P. Wagner, CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations.
“CBP senior leadership recognizes that a port the size of LAX, must be managed with precision and integrity and that it is essential that a Port Director undertaking command of this operation exercise sound judgment, be experienced, compassionate, personable and committed to the mission of CBP and its people. I'm very pleased with the selection of Mr. Kusser to assume such a critical position,” said Carlos C. Martel CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
In his new capacity, Kusser oversees LAX international passenger, air cargo, express consignment, international mail operations and agricultural compliance. He is responsible for managing all operational and administrative aspects of port security and trade facilitation.
Previously, Kusser served as Assistant Port Director, Tactical Operations, in Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif. From 2011 to 2016, Kusser served as the Assistant Port Director, Passenger Operations, LAX, where he oversaw passenger screening and enforcement units and established an enforcement posture that resulted in a 77-percent increase in the interdiction of inadmissible passengers, and enhanced CBP's ability to respond to active shooter events through establishment of LAX's Tactical Enforcement Officer program.
Kusser began his Federal career with the U.S. Customs Service in 1991, as a cooperative education student in Los Angeles, Calif, and served as a Customs Inspector in San Ysidro until 1999. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from Northeastern University and he is a graduate of the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executive Fellows program.