Jason Ackleson, Ph.D., is a nonresident scholar at the Baker Institute Center for the United States and Mexico. He serves as the strategic planning unit chief for the U.S. Council on Transnational Organized Crime's Strategic Division, a new initiative designed to improve the U.S. government's approach to combating transnational crime. Ackleson previously served as director of strategy in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans. In this role, Ackleson led teams of analysts responsible for developing major strategic documents for DHS, including the congressionally mandated 2018 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR), a comprehensive examination of the nation’s homeland security strategy. Prior to his role at DHS, Ackleson was acting chief of research and evaluation at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Ackleson’s team provided data-driven analytical products to inform immigration policymaking. He also directed multiple projects to evaluate and improve U.S. immigration benefit programs, customer service and agency performance.
Ackleson previously spent over 10 years in academia, including serving as an associate professor of government, and taught courses on U.S. national security policy, foreign policy, international relations and border security. He has published more than 25 articles, book chapters, reports and other publications on questions of security, borders, immigration and globalization, and received and administered over $1.5 million in research and education grants. He also was an associate dean of the Honors College at New Mexico State University. From 2009 to 10, Ackleson was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate, advising Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, on health care, border and immigration issues. Ackleson received a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.