Cynthia WhittenburgPresident

Recently retired Cynthia Whittenburg was appointed Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, in 2016, charged with overseeing one of the most important aspects of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) complex mission: facilitating lawful trade while protecting our supply chain to support our nation’s economic growth and security. Under her leadership, CBP addressed many of the complex challenges in today’s trade environment including e-commerce, forced labor, unfair trade practices, and regulatory reform.

Ms. Whittenburg’s civil service career began with the U.S. Customs Service at the Port of New Orleans as an import specialist 33 years ago and prior to her current appointment, she served as Executive Director, Trade Policy and Programs within CBP. Her experiences include Course Developer/Instructor at the CBP Field Operations Academy; National Account Manager; Chief of Entry, Summary and Drawback; Director, Trade Facilitation and Administration; and Director ACE Business Transformation, while serving in a parallel career as a commissioned U.S. Army Reservist.

Ms. Whittenburg is a graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/Business and has earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, she graduated from the Department of Homeland Security Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2013 and the Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Legal Studies, International Business Law, at University of Oklahoma.

Cynthia WhittenburgPresident

Recently retired Cynthia Whittenburg was appointed Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, in 2016, charged with overseeing one of the most important aspects of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) complex mission: facilitating lawful trade while protecting our supply chain to support our nation’s economic growth and security. Under her leadership, CBP addressed many of the complex challenges in today’s trade environment including e-commerce, forced labor, unfair trade practices, and regulatory reform.

Ms. Whittenburg’s civil service career began with the U.S. Customs Service at the Port of New Orleans as an import specialist 33 years ago and prior to her current appointment, she served as Executive Director, Trade Policy and Programs within CBP. Her experiences include Course Developer/Instructor at the CBP Field Operations Academy; National Account Manager; Chief of Entry, Summary and Drawback; Director, Trade Facilitation and Administration; and Director ACE Business Transformation, while serving in a parallel career as a commissioned U.S. Army Reservist.

Ms. Whittenburg is a graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/Business and has earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, she graduated from the Department of Homeland Security Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2013 and the Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Legal Studies, International Business Law, at University of Oklahoma.

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Patty CogswellVice President

Patty Cogswell joined Guidehouse in September 2020 as a senior strategic advisor, working in the areas of innovation, organization and mission transformation and redesign across the national security sector.

Ms. Cogswell is a homeland and national security executive with 24 years of experience;13 years as a senior executive. She led programs at the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice, in transportation, intelligence, policy, border security, screening, and information sharing initiatives. She possesses substantive expertise in: aviation, maritime, and surface transportation security; US government and foreign partner screening and vetting programs; counter terrorism; transnational organized crime; intelligence; information sharing and associated technology architectures; and immigration and border processes.

Ms. Cogswell has led multiple organizations through strategy, policy, technology execution, and operations in support of national security missions, as well as how to construct and implement both business and technical architectures. She led complex initiatives across the federal government and with international partners.

Prior to her arrival at Guidehouse, she served in a number of senior executive positions within the Department of Homeland Security, including as the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, Assistant Director for Intelligence at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Acting Undersecretary within the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Integration and Implementation, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination. She previously served at the National Security Council as Acting Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and as Special Assistant to the President for Transborder Security.

During her time in government, Ms. Cogswell received the DHS Outstanding Service Medal, the DHS Secretary’s Award, and the DHS Thought Leadership Award.

Ms. Cogswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania with a minor in Economics and a Juris Doctor degree from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Patty CogswellVice President

Patty Cogswell joined Guidehouse in September 2020 as a senior strategic advisor, working in the areas of innovation, organization and mission transformation and redesign across the national security sector.

Ms. Cogswell is a homeland and national security executive with 24 years of experience;13 years as a senior executive. She led programs at the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice, in transportation, intelligence, policy, border security, screening, and information sharing initiatives. She possesses substantive expertise in: aviation, maritime, and surface transportation security; US government and foreign partner screening and vetting programs; counter terrorism; transnational organized crime; intelligence; information sharing and associated technology architectures; and immigration and border processes.

Ms. Cogswell has led multiple organizations through strategy, policy, technology execution, and operations in support of national security missions, as well as how to construct and implement both business and technical architectures. She led complex initiatives across the federal government and with international partners.

Prior to her arrival at Guidehouse, she served in a number of senior executive positions within the Department of Homeland Security, including as the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, Assistant Director for Intelligence at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Acting Undersecretary within the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Integration and Implementation, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination. She previously served at the National Security Council as Acting Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and as Special Assistant to the President for Transborder Security.

During her time in government, Ms. Cogswell received the DHS Outstanding Service Medal, the DHS Secretary’s Award, and the DHS Thought Leadership Award.

Ms. Cogswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania with a minor in Economics and a Juris Doctor degree from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

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Michelle BryanTreasurer

Michelle Bryan is the Deputy Director for Resource Management at the Federal Protective Service (FPS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She provides strategic leadership and executive oversight of the following programs in support of the FPS law enforcement and security mission: budget and finance, human resources, acquisition, personnel security, procurement, diversity and inclusion, ethics, project management, labor relations and the organizations program analysis and evaluation efforts. In this capacity, she oversees an annual budget of over $1.5 billion and supports a workforce of approximately 1400 federal employees and over 13,000 contractors.

Michelle BryanTreasurer

Michelle Bryan is the Deputy Director for Resource Management at the Federal Protective Service (FPS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She provides strategic leadership and executive oversight of the following programs in support of the FPS law enforcement and security mission: budget and finance, human resources, acquisition, personnel security, procurement, diversity and inclusion, ethics, project management, labor relations and the organizations program analysis and evaluation efforts. In this capacity, she oversees an annual budget of over $1.5 billion and supports a workforce of approximately 1400 federal employees and over 13,000 contractors.

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Rhonda C. ShafferSecretary

Ms. Rhonda C. Shaffer has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the federal government and the private sector. She currently serves in the Senior Executive Service corps as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Budget Officer with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Prior to joining the Smithsonian in November of 2017, Stephanie spent 6 years at the Department of Defense Joint Program Office for the F-35 Lightning II in Arlington, VA, where she held positions as the Director of Software, the Chief of Staff, and the Lead for Congressional and Audits Engagement.
Stephanie is a 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has a Master’s degree from Troy State University in International Relations. She served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years as an intelligence officer, supporting fighter and cargo aircraft missions. After leaving active duty, she taught grade school in Goldsboro, NC, specifically middle school social studies and science. In 2003, she moved to the Washington D.C. area and worked in Air Force Acquisitions, providing fiscal and program management oversight for a number of different programs such as Air and Space Operations Center, Joint STARS radar upgrades, Special Tactics equipment and Cyber.
Stephanie currently resides in Herndon, VA, with her husband of 27 years, Darold Brinley.

Rhonda C. ShafferSecretary

Ms. Rhonda C. Shaffer has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the federal government and the private sector. She currently serves in the Senior Executive Service corps as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Budget Officer with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Prior to joining the Smithsonian in November of 2017, Stephanie spent 6 years at the Department of Defense Joint Program Office for the F-35 Lightning II in Arlington, VA, where she held positions as the Director of Software, the Chief of Staff, and the Lead for Congressional and Audits Engagement.
Stephanie is a 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has a Master’s degree from Troy State University in International Relations. She served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years as an intelligence officer, supporting fighter and cargo aircraft missions. After leaving active duty, she taught grade school in Goldsboro, NC, specifically middle school social studies and science. In 2003, she moved to the Washington D.C. area and worked in Air Force Acquisitions, providing fiscal and program management oversight for a number of different programs such as Air and Space Operations Center, Joint STARS radar upgrades, Special Tactics equipment and Cyber.
Stephanie currently resides in Herndon, VA, with her husband of 27 years, Darold Brinley.

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