Emilio Tomas Gonzalez, Ph.D, served as the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Under Secretary position within the Department of Homeland Security. Appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate in December 2005, he led an organization of more than 17,000 federal and contract employees responsible for the accurate, efficient and secure processing of immigration benefits.
Gonzalez announced his resignation on March 13, 2008, and it became effective on April 18.
Gonzalez was born in Cuba into an immigrant family. Prior to joining the Miami-based international law firm of Tew Cardenas as Senior Managing Director, he was Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the United States National Security Council, Washington, D.C. In this capacity he served as a key national security and foreign policy advisor to President George W. Bush and Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
An international affairs specialist, Gonzalez has spent most of his professional career involved in foreign affairs and international security policy issues. He has served in or traveled to almost every country in the western hemisphere on numerous occasions, and has represented the United States government on special diplomatic missions. He remains active in international politics, and often meets with heads of state, foreign ministers, trade ministers, ambassadors, and political leaders. He is a noted commentator on Hispanic and international affairs, and has appeared on local, national, and international radio and television programs.
Gonzalez completed a distinguished career in the U.S. Army that spanned twenty-six years. He served with the Defense Intelligence Agency as a military attaché to U.S. Embassies in El Salvador and Mexico, taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and headed the Office of Special Assistants for the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Southern Command. He retired with the rank of Colonel.
A graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa with a B.A. in International Studies, Gonzalez also earned M.A. degrees in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, and in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College. He was awarded a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Miami, where he also received the Graduate School Award for Academic Achievement.
Dr. Gonzalez was recognized as "One of the Most Influential Latinos in the Country" by Poder Magazine, People Magazine en Espanol, Latino Leaders, Hispanic Magazine, and Hispanic Business Magazine. He has been awarded numerous decorations by the United States as well as the governments of El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba. He was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus 2010 by the University of South Florida.
Dr. Gonzalez is a Knight of Malta and a Knight of the Sacred Constantinian Order of St. George. In 2010, he was inducted into the College of Nobles of the Principality of Asturias (Spain).