Carla Provost was just named the new chief of Border Patrol making her the first woman to lead the agency in its 94-year history.
Provost, who has been acting head for the past year, brings over two decades of experience to the role. She joined the agency 23 years ago, but prior to that was a former police officer in Kansas.
Provost recognizes that her appointment could help in boosting recruitment of women to the agency in which roughly five percent of officers are women (the same ratio as when she joined the agency in 1995). She notes:
“When it comes to women obviously there is always more that we can do. I know that I am the first female to lead the agency but I definitely know that I will not be the last one.”
However, Provost does not chalk up her appointment to her gender or want that to be the focus of her qualifications for the role:
“I don’t necessarily want to be recognized because today I am the first female chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. I hope I’m recognized at the end of my tenure for the work that I did as a Border Patrol agent and ultimately, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.”
In a Q&A with the LA Times, Provost was asked about differences in expectations for women compared to men. She explains there aren’t any:
"In my experience, when it comes to the job and mission, there is no difference in the expectations between female agents and male agents — we’re all Border Patrol agents. We’re all expected to do the same job, man or woman. And the agents I’ve worked with over the years, what they care about is if you can do the job — will you be there for them when they need it? If you go out and do a good job, then you’re recognized for it.
We salute Provost and hope that she is an inspiration for other men and women who seek to keep our borders and nation safe.