Skip to Content

Ian Cole

Contributing Faculty

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Program Master of Public Administration (MPA)

My name is Ian Cole and I was born in Detroit, MI. After living for several years in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, my family finally settled in Baltimore, Maryland. I attended and graduated cum laude from the University of Baltimore in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Following graduation, I obtained an Immigration Inspector position with the now disbanded Immigration and Naturalization Service.[1] I accepted an assignment location along California’s southern border and have since seen many interesting things the average individual is not normally exposed to, such as unique narcotic and human smuggling concealment methods. In hindsight, accepting an assignment location along the southern border was one the best decisions I ever made. I have had many great personal and professional experiences, experienced rapid career advancement, and was introduced to my wife.

I have been employed as a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Program Manager at the Los Angeles Field Office since 2011 where I manage programs that impact several ports of entry, including the Los Angeles International Airport and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. Prior to my current position, I was a Chief CBP Officer at the Calexico Ports of Entry from 2003 to 2011 where I executed the mission of CBP as a senior manager with responsibility for managing enforcement activities and reportable incidents. I served as a Watch Commander for the third-busiest port of entry in the nation, with responsibility for planning, directing, coordinating, assigning, organizing, and evaluating work activities for 8 supervisors and 80 non-supervisory employees. My perspective as a manager of a complex public-sector organization was the impetus of my interest in the field of public administration.

While working for CBP, I discovered a San Diego State University (SDSU) satellite campus near my residence which offered a master of public administration degree program. The public administration program offered by SDSU was a thought-provoking experience that allowed me to view my professional environment through different lenses. Throughout the master’s degree coursework I developed an increased interest in the complex operations of organizations, such as program evaluation, management theory, and performance management. My increased interest in public administration was fostered primarily because what I learned in the classroom I was able to apply in the workplace. I graduated from SDSU in 2006 and wanted to continue studying public administration for professional advancement and personal growth. After several months of searching I found and enrolled in the University of La Verne (ULV), which was a wonderful arrangement with my personal and professional needs and limitations.

Through the Doctor of Public Administration program offered by ULV, I was able to sharpen my public administration interests to succession planning. My dissertation research focused on the succession planning efforts of CBP from the perspective of five generational cohort-groups. Specifically, my research determined that there are significant generational differences in the perception of recruitment, development, and retention efforts among CBP employees. Additionally, my study determined the level of influence generational differences has on the effectiveness of organizational succession planning efforts. Although overwhelming and immense in scope, the dissertation process was a great learning experience and has resulted in many academic and professional advantages. I graduated from ULV in 2010 with aDoctor of Public Administration degree and returned to living a normal life without the demands of a pending dissertation.

When not working, I enjoying spending time with my wife and three young children (ages 2, 11, and 19 years), as well as watching Detroit Red Wings’ hockey.

Courses Taught

Current Issues in Homeland Security

Critical Issues in Emergency Management

Governance and Public Policy


PhD, University of La Verne

Awards / Honors

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Monetary Performance Award: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, 2012

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Security Appreciation Award: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, 2017