Alejandro N. Mayorkas was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security by President Biden on February 2, 2021.
A political refugee born in Havana, Cuba, Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant confirmed to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security. He has led a distinguished 30-year career as a law enforcement official and a nationally recognized lawyer in the private sector. Mayorkas served as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2016, and as the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure at DHS, he led the development and implementation of DACA, negotiated cybersecurity and homeland security agreements with foreign governments, led the Department’s response to Ebola and Zika, helped build and administer the Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking, and developed an emergency relief program for orphaned youth following the tragic January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Mayorkas also created the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate to better ensure the integrity of the legal immigration system.
Mayorkas began his government service in the Department of Justice, where he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, specializing in the prosecution of white collar crime. After nearly nine years as a federal prosecutor, he became the youngest United States Attorney in the nation, overseeing prosecutions of national significance, including the investigation and prosecution of financial fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, public corruption, violent crime, cybercrime, human trafficking, environmental crime, international narcotics money laundering, and securities fraud.
Mayorkas received his bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Loyola Law School.
My network of professionals working on countering hate in all its forms grew exponentially after attending Eradicate Hate in 2021. The myriad voices represented at Eradicate Hate, from big tech companies to academic researchers to those with lived experience, reinforced to me the importance of cross-cutting and collaborative approaches to counter hate and its devastating impacts on society. I’ve been fortunate to sustain and build those networks with many of those I met at Eradicate Hate in 2021.