Robert C. Bonner is Of Counsel in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm's White Collar Defense and Investigations and Public Policy Practice Groups and the firm's Crisis Management Team. Mr. Bonner's practice focuses on internal investigations, high-stakes civil litigation and defense of government enforcement actions, and he advises on the intersection of homeland security, international trade and customs issues.
From 2003 through December 2005, Mr. Bonner served as the first Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for managing, controlling and securing the United States' borders, while facilitating global trade and travel.
Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Bonner created the unprecedented Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) - both continue to revolutionize the security and more efficient movement of trade around the world. At the same time Mr. Bonner focused on securing international supply chains from the terrorist threat, he also pursued and implemented a national border control strategy to secure America's borders. This strategy consists of a centralized command structure, rapid response capability, and a defense-in-depth, while relying upon highly-trained personnel, strengthened infrastructure and improved technology.
Mr. Bonner was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Commissioner of U.S. Customs Service in September 2001. Before that, his government service included serving as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from 1990 to 1993, as U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California from 1989 to 1990, and as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1984 through 1989.
Mr. Bonner was a litigation partner in Gibson Dunn's Los Angeles office from 1993 to 2001, when he served as Co-Chair of the Business Crimes and Investigations Practice Group. His practice focused on business and white-collar crime matters, complex civil cases, internal corporate investigations and corporate compliance programs. Mr. Bonner is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In addition to holding a seat as a member of the Board of Trustees of California Institute of Technology, Mr. Bonner also serves as Chairman of the Audit & Compliance Committee. He also Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Region One and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council for International Policy.