By Allison Posner
Did you know that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a liaison for non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Meet Anna Hinken. She serves as CBP’s principal liaison to non-governmental faith-based and advocacy groups. It is her responsibility to facilitate dialogue between CBP and the NGO community, and other federal agencies as appropriate. Ms. Hinken serves as the voice of NGOs. She is the first ever NGO liaison at CBP.
Ms. Hinken is a long-time government employee. Prior to joining CBP last year, she served as the Director of Communication for the US-VISIT Program Office. In that role she worked closely with CBP to educate the traveling public and stakeholders about biometrics and their use by DHS for border security purposes. Prior to that, she was a community relations officer at legacy-INS and Chief of the Program Analysis Staff at the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
In her time at CBP so far, Ms. Hinken has been working with the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) staff and their new leadership to develop more timely responses to FOIA requests and to reduce backlogs. They are continuing work to improve the FOIA Reading Room on the agency’s website. Ms. Hinken is also working with CBP’s Office of Public Affairs and Information Center to develop an online case reporting system that will be deploying soon.
You can reach Ms. Hinken’s office through CBP’s main telephone line at 877-227-5511, or through the NGO liaison email box that she checks on a daily basis, firstname.lastname@example.org. She intends to hold liaison meetings around the country, so reach out to her to set up a meeting in your community.