Janice Ayala is Director of Joint Task Force – Investigations (JTF-I), a DHS effort that prioritizes and integrates support for criminal investigations along the U.S. 'Southern Border and Approaches' to mitigate the risk of terrorism, dismantle transnational criminal organizations and prevent their reconstitution, and reduce illicit flows. Previous to this assignment, Ms. Ayala served as the Deputy Director of Joint Task Force–West which focused on cross-departmental and integrated counter-network operations on strategic objectives across four southwest border geographical corridors.
Director Ayala has also served in several key senior management positions in DHS. She was the Special Agent in Charge (SAC), of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio, Texas, where she was responsible for one of the largest operational areas encompassing 58 counties, over 500 miles of international border, two Federal Judicial Districts, three Customs and Border Protection sectors, and some of the most challenging ports of entry in the country. At ICE HSI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., she served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the Financial, Narcotics and Public Safety Division, the Assistant Director (AD) of Investigative Programs and the AD of Domestic Operations. As the AD of Domestic Operations she oversaw the investigative efforts of more than 7,000 HSI special agents assigned to 26 SAC offices throughout the United States, including investigative matters related to national security, terrorism, export enforcement, money laundering, drug and bulk-cash smuggling, human smuggling and trafficking, customs fraud, child pornography, and other financial and immigration fraud.
Prior to her Headquarters assignment, Director Ayala served in a variety of leadership positions in the field including as Deputy SAC in Laredo, Texas, Associate SAC and Assistant SAC. She was also the Resident Agent in Charge and the Acting Assistant Regional SAC, for the former U.S. Customs Service (USCS), Office of Internal Affairs in El Paso, Texas.
Director Ayala began her federal career with the USCS as an Intelligence Research Specialist, and later served a tour in Puerto Rico as a Senior Special Agent and Caribbean Liaison Officer. Prior to her federal civil service career, she served four years in a United States Air Force Intelligence Squadron as a Spanish Linguist and Analyst. Director Ayala has served in several positions for the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Executive Committee (WIFLE), and is currently a Lifetime Member, member of the Past Presidents Council and Senior Advisor to the WIFLE Foundation. She is also an International Association of Chiefs of Police Committee (IACP) Member. Throughout her career, Director Ayala has engaged in extensive volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Club, Crime Stoppers of Laredo, the Children’s Bereavement Center in San Antonio and was a Certified Rape Crisis Counselor for the State of Texas.