John Cook served three terms on the El Paso City Council and was subsequently elected as mayor and served two four-year terms. He is the longest serving elected official in the history of the El Paso City government. Mr. Cook received national recognition for his expertise on issues that impact America’s relationship with Mexico, assuring a balance between securing the border and promoting international trade. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, appointed John as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Southwest Border Task Force. He is the co-founder of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association. John received the Bi-National Achievement Award from the U.S./Mexico Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his achievements.
Bob Gray is a Civil Engineer with over 40 years professional experience ranging from environmental research to public works design and software development. His current focus is development of custom GIS applications to address supply chain security and efficiencies along the United States-Mexico border. He spearheaded GIS implementation and initiated bi-national research in air quality and health with UTEP, bringing in $7 million in research grants.
As a Design Engineer for the City of El Paso, he completed public works projects totaling over $20 million and led the City into Computer Aided Drafting and Design. Bob served as Chairman of the Paso del Norte Air Quality Task Force and the City’s Information Technology Advisory Board.
David Higgerson has more than 49 years of progressively responsible Federal service with the U.S. Customs Service. Mr. Higgerson served as the Director, Field Operations at the Laredo Field Office where he was responsible for the operation and enforcement activities at eight international ports of entry, processing nearly 59.4 million people, more than 21 million vehicles, more than 3.5 million commercial trucks, and an excess of $194 billion in international trade.
Director Higgerson served as the Assistant Commissioner of Field Operation’s chairman for the Port Security Working Group, which was tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to improve security at all land border ports of entry. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 DHS Secretary’s Leadership Award, the Secretary’s Silver Medal for Meritorious Service and Commissioner’s Strategic Problem Solving Award.
Ron Munden has close to 50 years of business experience in the computer industry, with the last 40 years focused specifically on the software sector of the industry. His broad experience includes computer hardware/software management with senior sales and marketing roles. He held the position of Vice President at Wang Laboratories before moving to El Paso, Texas in 1985 to join Accugraph Corporation. He served Accugraph in several capacities including Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President.
Jens Pohl, Ph.D. has held tenured academic and senior professional positions over the past 40 years. He co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Collaborative Agent Design Research Center (CADRC) at the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), formed CDM Technologies Inc. serving as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) until CDM was acquired by Boeing in 2010 and merged with Tapestry Solutions (a Boeing company), and until April 2019 served as Vice President and CTO of Tapestry Solutions. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Pohl has directed contracts in excess of $200 million involving the design, development and implementation of intelligent command and control systems and strategic deployment systems for the U.S. Department of Defense, foreign military, and commercial customers.