Carla Provost became the first woman Thursday to lead the U.S. Border Patrol in its 94-year history. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Carla Provost was introduced Thursday as the 18th chief of the U.S. Border Patrol -- and the first female leader in the agency's 94-year history.
Provost, who's served as acting chief for a year, will lead the agency on a permanent basis, CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan announced.
"There is no one more suited to lead the Border Patrol," he said. "I have absolute confidence in her experience, leadership, judgment and dedication to lead the Border Patrol, as well as her unwavering commitment to our mission, and our agency."
"When it comes to women obviously there is always more that we can do," he added. "I know that I am the first female to lead the agency but I definitely know that I will not be the last one."
Provost was named acting chief after Mark Morgan, a former FBI agent and the first chief in the agency's 93-year history to never have worked as a border agent, was forced to leave after four months on the job after criticism over his qualifications.
Provost also served as the agency's deputy chief since 2016. Before that, she was deputy assistant commissioner of internal affairs, deputy chief patrol agent in the El Paso Sector and chief agent for the El Centro Sector in California. Before joining CBP, she was a police officer in Kansas.
"The Border Patrol is a family, and I will do everything to live up to this great responsibility," she said.
The agency has come under increased criticism in recent months for a "zero-tolerance" policy under the Trump administration, which has included some family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It has been my experience that if there are no consequences for violating the law, then people will continue to do it," Provost told the Times.
"We do not leave our humanity behind when we report for duty."