Drug Trafficking & Violence along the U.S. Caribbean Border

2012 National Leadership Conference

CSG International Committee
America's Forgotten Border
May 18, 2012

The U.S.'s borders with Canada and Mexico are the subject of frequent and sometimes heated debates regarding trade, security and immigration. America's frontiers across the Caribbean basin and along the Arctic, however, have received little attention, but are just as vital for the future of commerce and public safety. This session featured discussions of the economic opportunities and security challenges along these forgotten borders and the impact that developments in these regions will have on states.

Presentation by Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico

Drug Trafficking & Violence along the U.S. Caribbean Border

Secretary Kenneth McClintock
McClintock is the secretary of state of Puerto Rico. He served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council in 2008, co-chaired Clinton's successful Puerto Rico primary campaign that year and served as the 13th president of the Senate of Puerto Rico until his term ended on December 31, 2008. In late 2008, he served as president of then-Gov.-Elect Luis Fortuño's Transition Committee. He was sworn into office as secretary of state on January 2, 2009, fulfilling the role of lieutenant governor (first-in-line of succession) in the islands.

McClintock has been involved in politics since the age of 13. At the age of 14, McClintock was appointed by President Richard Nixon as delegate to the White House Conference on Youth held from April 18–21, 1971. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the National Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In 1979 McClintock served as the first Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association president.

He was the executive director of the U.S. Democratic Party, chapter of Puerto Rico, from 1984 to 1988 and has attended all nine Democratic Party conventions since 1976 as a delegate, a superdelegate or as a staffer. A Democratic National Committeeman since 2000, he was recently elected to attend his tenth consecutive convention in 2012.

In 1992, he was elected the youngest senator-at-large for the 12th legislature. In November 1996 he was the top vote getter among all New Progressive and Popular Democratic parties senatorial candidates. He was reelected to his fourth term in 2004, nominated by his New Progressive Party caucus as senate president on November 4, 2004 and formally elected and sworn in for a four-year term as the Senate's 13th president on January 10, 2005.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton appointed McClintock as an at large member of the Democratic Platform Committee, where he was instrumental in drafting the platform plank on Puerto Rico.

As secretary of state, McClintock was designated by Fortuño to lead the Puerto Rico governments efforts to facilitate the islands' transition to digital television. He has also been designated as chairman of the government's efforts to assist in the 2010 census. He also chaired a five-member Legislative Reform Committee that made recommendations in October 2009 regarding a revamping of Puerto Rico's Legislature. On November 30, 2009, the governor announced that McClintock would be co-chairing with former Secretary of Education Carlos Chardón the Education Advisory Committee.