Criminology Alum to Receive USF Distinguished Alumnus Award
Richard "Gil" Kerlikowske, Jr. BA `78 & MA `85 is the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience. He previously served as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been chief of police in four cities: Port St. Lucie, FL; Fort Pierce, FL; Buffalo, NY; and Seattle, WA. He also served as deputy director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Justice Department. During his nine-year tenure as chief of police in Seattle, WA, he was credited with helping to reduce the city's crime rate and stabilizing the police department after the 1999 World Trade Organization riots. He also led the national nonprofit organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, while chief in Seattle, and grew its membership dramatically during his time at the helm. Kerlikowske grew up in Fort Myers, FL, and began his law enforcement career with the St. Petersburg Police Department, where he worked while earning his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at USF. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from USF in 2010.