Patricia Pless

Department of Homeland Security

2022 fellow

A public sector servant supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection in strategic planning and driving efficient outcomes for the mission directive.

Ms. Pless has over 32 years of experience with both the federal government and private industry sectors. She most recently was acting as the Deputy Executive Director for Mission Support Directorate (MSD) within the Office of Field Operations in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). MSD consists of 6 Divisions that include facilities, information technology, human capital, labor relations, training, and employee resiliency, with a total of 108 employees and a $14 billion budget. MSD provides global support to a workforce of over 32,000 employees and services over 600 facilities at 328 Ports of Entry.

Ms. Pless has built an impressive portfolio in mission support throughout her career. As the Director of the Enterprise Effectiveness Division, she directly supported the Executive Assistant Commissioner for Enterprise Services. Her division was responsible for conducting portfolio management reviews, strategic planning, customer service improvement, and business information analysis. Ms. Pless served as the lead of the CBP Realignment effort which improved the span of control for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner from 27 direct reports to 6.

Early in her CBP career Ms. Pless worked in the Procurement Directorate, where she established and managed acquisition improvement initiatives, which provided a means for procurement to identify, prioritize, and address issues and acquisition challenges. She has worked as a system software developer, an evaluator and auditor, and a contracting officer for a small non-profit business.

Ms. Pless has a Dual B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Salisbury State University and a Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting from George Washington School of Business.

In her new role in the Made in America Office, Ms. Pless hopes to assist in creating an impactful and enduring structure, with associated processes, that will outlast her time in the White House Leadership Development Program.


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