Dr. Kimberly O’Connor was appointed by Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson as the Executive Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security in October 2014. In this position, she is responsible for all correspondence, decision documents, briefings, as well as White House and interagency actions coming into and tasked out of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary’s Offices. In Dr. O’Connor’s current role, she also serves as the Executive Director of Operations and Administration for the Office of the Secretary. Her team’s portfolio includes daily scheduling and operational briefing materials, as well as all correspondence with the White House, Congress, public and private stakeholders, and other federal agencies.
Previously, she served as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Department of Homeland Security. In this assignment, she supported the Commissioner in all operational and policy functions of the agency which include the oversight of a 12 billion dollar budget and a workforce of approximately 61,000 employees. Dr. O’Connor also served as the Senior Advisor to the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and as the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of CBP.
From March 2009 - March 2011, Dr. O’Connor served as the Chief of Staff, Department of Homeland Security/Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement. In this role, she supervised the DHS Headquarters staff who were responsible for coordinating the Department of Homeland Security’s counterdrug policies, ensuring the adequacy of counterdrug resources, and tracking and severing the relationships between drug trafficking and terrorism.
From December 2006 until her appointment with the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. O'Connor served as Director for the Division for Substance Abuse Policy. During this time, she was responsible for policy initiatives and grant administration involving effective substance abuse prevention, treatment, and enforcement efforts.
Dr. O’Connor assisted in authoring the “Model Drug Offender Accountability and Treatment Act” released through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President in June of 2004 and was subsequently inducted into the Arizona Drug Court Hall of Fame. She has nineteen years of experience in the addressing criminal justice policy matters.