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Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Background Experience/Significant Achievements:

Alejandro Mayorkas is the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Nominated by President Obama in April 2009, he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in August 2009. As Director of USCIS, Mayorkas leads the agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with operating the largest immigration system in the world. He is responsible for enhancing USCIS efforts to safeguard our nation’s security, ensure the integrity of the immigration system, administer immigration benefits with consistency and transparency, and promote an awareness and understanding of citizenship. Director Mayorkas is responsible for an 18,000 member workforce throughout more than 250 offices worldwide and oversees a $3 billion annual budget. For his leadership as USCIS Director, Mayorkas has received numerous awards from national and local organizations.

Prior to his appointment as the Director of USCIS, Mayorkas was a partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He advised boards of directors and executives, led internal investigations, and litigated cases across a wide array of industries. He served as a member of O’Melveny & Myers’ worldwide governing Policy Committee and as Chair of the firm’s Values Awards Committee and the Warren Christopher Scholarship Committee. In 2008, the National Law Journal recognized Mayorkas as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.”

In 1998, Senator Dianne Feinstein recommended Mayorkas to be the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate, he became the youngest U.S. Attorney to serve the nation at that time. Mayorkas led an office of 240 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and oversaw the prosecution of cases of national and international significance. He served as the Vice-Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Civil Rights and as a member of the Subcommittee on Ethics in Government. From 1989 to 1998, Mayorkas served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. Between 1996 and 1998, he served as Chief of the Office’s General Crimes Section, overseeing the training and trial work of new Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division. Over his twelve years as a federal prosecutor, he received numerous awards and commendations from federal and local law enforcement officials and agencies.


Alejandro Mayorkas is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/28/2013