Elizabeth B. Schmelzinger has 35 years of experience in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Schmelzinger retired from CBP as the Director of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT).
CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program which recognizes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close relationships with the principal stakeholders of the international supply chain. Ms. Schmelzinger led the re-engineering effort to update CTPAT Minimum Security Standards in close partnership with CTPAT membership of over 11,000 companies, encompassing over 50% of importations into the United States.
Ms. Schmelzinger began her law enforcement career in 1984 as a U.S. Customs Service Inspector in Buffalo, NY, later becoming a Senior Customs Inspector and an Import Specialist. After relocating to Arizona in 2001, Ms. Schmelzinger served as a Program Manager and was assigned on the Tucson Joint Terrorism Task Force for the Office of Field Operations. In 2004 Ms. Schmelzinger transitioned to Washington, D.C. and served as a Program Manager in the Border and Transportation Security Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters. In her tenure at DHS, she held the position as the Assistant Director for Interior Enforcement for the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) and led the development and establishment of the Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST).
In 2008, Ms. Schmelzinger was selected as the Chief of Staff of CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, the world’s largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization. Ms. Schmelzinger returned to the Office of Field Operations in 2013, serving as the Director of the Office of Border Initiatives, where she oversaw implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan with Canada and the 21st Century Border Management with Mexico.
Ms. Schmelzinger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, Political Science from the State University
College at Buffalo. She earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Cornell
University and graduated from the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University.