AGOA Expo & Trade Fair
Speaker: Cynthia Whittenburg


Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade

US Customs & Border Protection CBP

Topic: “Trade 20/20”

Cynthia Whittenburg was appointed Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, in June 2016, charged with overseeing one of the most important aspects of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) complex mission: facilitating lawful trade while protecting our supply chain to support our nation’s economic growth and security. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Whittenburg served as Executive Director, Trade Policy and Programs within CBP, since 2013. As Executive Director, Ms. Whittenburg led a highly diverse staff in pursuing transformative trade policies that promote economic security and growth for America’s businesses, along with ensuring that only safe and legitimate products enter into U.S. commerce.

She drove key enforcement strategies over priority trade areas including antidumping and countervailing duties, intellectual property rights, import safety, textiles, and trade agreements. Ms. Whittenburg’s civil service career began with the U.S. Customs Service at the Port of New Orleans as an import specialist 28 years ago. Since that time, her experiences include serving as a Course Developer/Instructor at the CBP Field Operations Academy – Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; National Account Manager; Branch Chief of Entry, Summary and Drawback; Division Director, Trade Facilitation and Administration; and Director ACE Business Transformation. Her executive experience with the Department of Homeland Security also includes two six-month temporary assignments: Acting Executive Director, Budget Office, CBP; and Acting Deputy Federal Security Director, Dallas Forth/Worth Airport, Transportation Security Administration.

Ms. Whittenburg was “twice the citizen” in that she served in a parallel career with the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard over the course of 24 years rising through the noncommissioned ranks and later becoming a commissioned officer. Ms. Whittenburg is a graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/Business and has earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, she graduated from the Department of Homeland Security Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2013 and completed the Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2016.