W. Ralph Basham

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W. Ralph Basham
W. Ralph Basham.jpg
Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Department of Homeland Security
In office
June 6, 2006 – February 27, 2009
Preceded by Robert C. Bonner
Succeeded by Alan Bersin
21st Director of the United States Secret Service
In office
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Brian L. Stafford
Succeeded by Mark J. Sullivan
Personal details
Born (1943-11-17) November 17, 1943 (age 74)
Owensboro, Kentucky, U.S.
Alma mater Southeastern University in Washington, D.C.

William Ralph Basham, Jr. (born November 17, 1943)[1] has served at the head of four of the eight U.S. Department of Homeland Security agencies, including as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest federal security force in the United States government, Director of the United States Secret Service, Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and as one of the first employees as Chief of Staff at the Transportation Security Administration.

Upon leaving government service in April 2009, Basham founded Command Consulting Group, a Washington, D.C.-based international advisory firm which provides security advisory services to government clients and works with companies with security related products and services to develop and market products to federal security agencies.

In 2008, Basham was conferred the rank of Distinguished Executive by former U.S. President George W. Bush.[2] In October 2013, Basham was awarded the Founder's Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Border Patrol Foundation.


A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Basham received a bachelor's degree from Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. He is married to the former Judith O'Bryan and has three children, Paige, Craig, and Billy, and twelve grandchildren.

Career with the Secret Service[edit]

Basham's career with the United States Secret Service began in 1970, when he was appointed a Special Agent in the Washington Field Office. He rose rapidly to the managerial level while serving in a variety of assignments reflecting the Service's diverse interests and responsibilities. Consistent with the dual missions of the Secret Service, Basham has served in supervisory positions in both protective and investigative assignments, serving as Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Field Office, the Washington Field Office, and the Vice Presidential Protective Division. Basham also served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Training and as Assistant Director of the Office of Administration, where he was responsible for the management of the agency's administrative division, including financial management, personnel, procurement and strategic planning.

Position at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center[edit]

In January 1998, Basham was appointed Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) by President Bill Clinton. The center, located in Glynco, Georgia and Artesia, New Mexico, provides training for nearly all of the nation's federal law enforcement officers, including Secret Service agents. The FLETC also serves the state, local and federal law enforcement communities with training programs tailored to their specific needs.

Position at Transportation Security Administration[edit]

In January 2002, Basham was recruited as one of the first employees and leaders of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a new agency within the Homeland Security created to secure America's aviation system following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack. Among his responsibilities at TSA, Basham oversaw the hiring of federal security directors for the nation's 429 major airports.

Return to U.S. Secret Service[edit]

On January 27, 2003, Basham returned to the agency as the director, following the retirement of Brian L. Stafford.

Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection[edit]

President George W. Bush nominated Basham as Commissioner of CBP on January 30, 2006. Basham was confirmed by the United States Senate in May 2006. CBP is responsible for border security and trade, including the United States Border Patrol and inspecting persons and items entering the United States through its ports of entry.

Global Trade Exchange[edit]

Basham was a lead proponent[3][4] of the Global Trade Exchange (GTX), an intelligence-driven[5] supply-chain data-mining effort that was one of three components of CBP's Secure Freight Initiative.


  1. ^ date & year of birth according to LCNAF CIP data
  2. ^ Office of Personnel Management. U.S. Office of Personnel Management https://archive.opm.gov/ses/performance/2008dspe.asp. Retrieved 9 August 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/commissioner/speeches_statements/basham_remarks.xml
  4. ^ http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/commissioner/speeches_statements/ncbfaa.xml
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2009. Retrieved February 15, 2009.