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International Operations


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Agents walking toward the Mexico border
Agents at conference table
Police with bagged evidence

HSI’s International Operations Division is the Department of Homeland Security’s largest investigative presence overseas. Division personnel serve as liaisons to governments and law enforcement agencies across the globe and work side-by-side with foreign law enforcement on HSI investigations overseas.

The division’s attachés have a variety of duties, including relationship building and providing assistance on active investigations and repatriation efforts. Attaché offices have a unique dual reporting structure. They report to HSI leadership, but are also responsible to U.S. ambassadors.

The mission of International Operations is threefold. It supports domestic operations by coordinating investigations with foreign counterparts; disrupts criminal efforts to smuggle people and materials into the United States; and builds international partnerships through outreach and training.

International Operations consists of International Operations East, International Operations West and International Programs.

International Operations East

International Operations East is responsible for operations in the Eastern Hemisphere, including:

  • HSI operations and activities in Europe;
  • HSI operations and activities in the Middle East and Africa;
  • HSI operations and activities in Asia and the Pacific;
  • HSI representation at U.S. Africa Command;
  • HSI representation at U.S. Central Command;
  • HSI representation at U.S. European Command; and
  • HSI representation at U.S. Pacific Command (including Joint Interagency Taskforce – West).

International Operations West

International Operations West is responsible for operations in the Western Hemisphere, including:

  • HSI operations and activities in Mexico and Canada;
  • HSI operations and activities in Central America, South America and the Caribbean;
  • HSI representation at U.S. Special Operations Command;
  • HSI representation at Northern Command; and
  • HSI representation at U.S. Southern Command (including Joint Interagency Taskforce – South).

International Programs

International Programs is responsible for a variety of activities and programs, including:

Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) is an HSI-led initiative that fills biometric databases with data collected from special interest aliens, violent criminals, fugitives and confirmed or suspected terrorists encountered within illicit pathways. This data helps HSI form strategic pictures of the trends, networks and individuals connected with these pathways.

Cultural Property, Arts, and Antiquities Investigations and Repatriations Program oversees investigations into the trafficking of cultural property from around the world. It also manages the return of such items to their rightful owners. The program trains special agents on carrying out cultural property investigations before these agents partner with fellow law enforcement agencies, private institutions and foreign governments. Federal law gives HSI the authority to take a leading role in criminal investigations that involve the movement of stolen or looted cultural property.  Visit the Cultural Property, Arts, and Antiquities Investigations and Repatriations Program for more information.

External Liaisons oversee HSI’s commitment to critical federal partners operating internationally, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Justice and Interpol.

International Agreements oversee formal relationships between HSI and its foreign partners. The section works with HSI attachés, ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor and other federal partners to forge international agreements.

International Visitors Program reviews international visitors to ICE facilities and oversees the travel of foreign officials sponsored by ICE. The program also maintains contact with important foreign counterparts. Additionally, the program manages HSI’s Dulles Access Badge Program, which oversees visitor entry to Washington Dulles International Airport and manages VIP arrivals for foreign officials.

International Operations works with the Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. agencies to vet participants in International Visitors Program events nationwide. International Operations also provides support for visitor-related events at HSI headquarters.

Personnel Recovery Unit helps employees and their families prepare for isolating incidents overseas. The unit also assists HSI attaché offices in the recovery of personnel.

Transnational Criminal Investigative Units are HSI-led investigative units with members from foreign law enforcement agencies. The units promote teamwork between HSI and host governments.

Visa Security Program is responsible for the operational requirements of Section 428 of the Homeland Security Act. Special agents in the program deploy to high-risk embassies to give their expertise to Department of State consular officers. The program also serves as a counterterrorism tool for HSI by screening visa applicants and recommending visa refusal/revocation. Visit the Visa Security Program page for more information.

Lev Kubiak, Assistant Director International Operations
Lev Kubiak
Assistant Director International Operations

Mr. Kubiak assumed the role of Assistant Director, International Operations on June 30, 2014. In this position, Mr. Kubiak is responsible for a budget of more than $130 million and the operational oversight of 63 offices in 46 countries and 8 Department of Defense liaison offices with over 400 personnel.

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Kubiak served as the Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Center for three years. The National Intellectual Property Rights Center, comprised of 17 U.S. federal agencies and four international partners, stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to global intellectual property theft. Mr. Kubiak also oversaw Homeland Security Investigations’ trade enforcement program.

Mr. Kubiak began his career as a Special Agent in the agency’s Detroit office in 1995. In November 2001, he transferred to the U.S. Customs Service’s Office of International Affairs in Washington, D.C. There, he served in several capacities, including: Deputy Director for the Container Security Initiative, a national security program focused on securing international movement of shipping containers; and Deputy Assistant Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of International Affairs, overseeing the international policy and programs division.

In July 2006, Mr. Kubiak became the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Buffalo, New York office. In 2007, he was asked to serve as the Acting Special Agent in Charge and in May 2008, permanently assumed the position of Special Agent in Charge, Buffalo, NY. Mr. Kubiak entered the Senior Executive Service in 2011.

Prior to his career as a Special Agent, Mr. Kubiak served for three years in U.S. Customs Service’s Office of Labor and Employee Relations in Washington, D.C. Before his government service, Mr. Kubiak was an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he also received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and contemporary world studies from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. He now serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercyhurst.