What We Do and Who We're Looking For
Don is the District Director responsible for two USCIS field offices located in the Eastern Region. He began his career with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1980. He has worked in several domestic locations including Champlain (NY), Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Miami. He also worked for INS in both Toronto and Montreal, Canada. His overseas assignments included five years in Africa as well as an assignment in Moscow, Russia. His career has included positions as an Immigration Inspector, Senior Immigration Inspector, District Intelligence Officer, Immigration Examiner, Assistant Officer in Charge, Officer in Charge, Assistant District Director and District Director.
In addition to his assigned duty stations, Don has had the opportunity to participate in several temporary assignments; including 60 days in Nairobi to help reestablish the INS office after the U.S. Embassy was destroyed by terrorists in 1998. He also served a one year detail to the Chicago USCIS office as Interim District Director, a three month detail to Miami as Acting District Director and a three month detail to USCIS headquarters as a Special Assistant to the Director of Domestic Operations.
Benefits of Working at USCIS
According to Don, “Demographics are the best predictor of the future and there are few demographics more significant than the movement of people throughout the world. A career at USCIS puts you in a position to observe, understand and participate at the cutting edge of many issues affecting the future of the country. The USCIS experience involves aspects of law, national security, health and human services, economics, sociology, international relations and management. Whatever your interests are, they can be applied to the work that we do.”
Succeeding at USCIS
Don offers his advice to finding success in a career here, “USCIS needs informed risk takers who decide what they want to do rather than what they want to be. I have seen many people say that they want to be a supervisor or a director simply to reach a specific pay level. These people usually end up frustrated or bored. I voluntarily sought demotions four times during my career and I moved several times to locations about which I knew nothing. I made these choices simply because I believed that the new position or location would allow me to do something interesting, learn something new and contribute to the organization. None of my decisions have backfired and every one has benefited me in the long run.”