Derek N. Benner is currently the Executive Associate Director (EAD) for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), an organization with more than 10,400 positions, which includes more than 7,100 special agents who are assigned to 30 Special Agent in Charge (SAC) offices in major cities, over 250 other field offices throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in more than 50 countries. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Benner served as the Deputy EAD for HSI. As the investigative component of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), HSI’s investigative and enforcement initiatives and operations target cross-border criminal organizations that exploit America's legitimate trade, travel, financial and immigration systems for their illicit purposes.
Prior to this position, Mr. Benner served as the Assistant Director of Domestic Operations with oversight of HSI’s domestic field offices. Mr. Benner also served as SAC for HSI in San Diego,. In this position, he oversaw one of HSI’s largest investigative offices in the nation, which includes a diverse cadre of federal agents, intelligence analysts, and professional administrative staff throughout San Diego and Imperial counties. He also oversaw a number of HSI-led multiagency tasks forces, which included state, local and federal law enforcement members working together to target cross-border criminal organizations that exploit the legitimate commercial trade, travel, and financial systems in the California/Mexico border region.
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Benner served in several key leadership positions at ICE Headquarters. As the Deputy Assistant Director of HSI’s Financial, Narcotics and Special Operations Division in Washington, D.C., he was responsible for the agency’s national financial fraud and narcotics smuggling programs. He also served as Chief of Staff to the Director of HSI and provided management oversight at the national level.
Mr. Benner began his law enforcement career with the U.S. Customs Service in 1991 as a co-op student. He worked at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as a Customs Inspector for two years before becoming a Marine Enforcement Officer and a Special Agent with the U.S. Customs Service’s Office of Investigations in San Diego. In 2002, Mr. Benner was promoted to the management ranks where he supervised agents assigned to the local maritime smuggling task force and managed the asset forfeiture, intelligence and administration programs as an Assistant SAC in San Diego.
Mr. Benner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from George Mason University.