Michael T. Dougherty serves as the sixth Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman. As Ombudsman, he assists individuals and employers in resolving problems in the delivery of immigration benefits and services, conducting significant outreach to stakeholders, identifying pervasive and serious problems, and issuing formal and informal recommendations to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Ombudsman independently submits an annual report directly to Congress. Dougherty previously served as the Department’s second Ombudsman from 2008 to 2009.
Dougherty was appointed Assistant Secretary for Border, Immigration, and Trade Policy at DHS from March 2017 to October 2019. In that role, he administered the Department’s dockets on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and submarine landing cables (Team Telecom), represented the Department before the World Customs Organization in negotiating the development of standards for e-commerce, and directed the production of a report to the President on how to combat online counterfeit and pirated goods. He also spearheaded efforts with the Department of State to increase the removal of criminal aliens from the United States, and oversaw development of the Department’s Northern Border Strategy to enhance border security operations, facilitate travel and trade, and promote cross-border communications. Dougherty is a founding member of DHS, having initially joined the Department’s Border and Transportation Security Directorate in 2003.
Dougherty was Legislative Counsel to Senator Jon Kyl and staff member with the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security within the Senate Judiciary Committee. He participated in the drafting and negotiation of comprehensive immigration reform bills before the Senate, designed hearings, and engaged constituent industries and businesses.
Dougherty also served with the Department of Justice for over seven years. He litigated 100 cases before U.S. Courts of Appeal at the Office of Immigration Litigation, was a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, and helped adjudicate hundreds of immigration cases as an Attorney Advisor to the Board of Immigration Appeals within the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
Dougherty’s private sector and non-profit experience focused on identity management and technologies to assist homeland security and public safety missions. He worked with the Raytheon Company from 2009 to 2015.