Michael C. Nicley

Late Board Member

Mr. Nicley began his career with the U.S. Border Patrol in 1980 as an agent at the San Clemente Station in southern California. Before retiring from the agency in 2007, Mr. Nicley held a variety of supervisory and management positions at the station, sector, regional, and national levels. While moving through the ranks, he gained experience in the nation’s most problematic border enforcement environments. Before joining the Border Patrol, Mr. Nicley served in the U.S. Air Force and the Michigan Air National Guard, where he attained the rank of Technical Sergeant.

When he retired, Mr. Nicley was the Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, the largest, most active sector in the country. During his tenure in Tucson, Mr. Nicley was appointed the Arizona Border Control Initiative Integrator by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, a position that designated him as the lead official for the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to secure the Arizona-Mexico border. The Tucson Sector has historically led the nation in arrests and drug seizures and has long been the primary focus of Border Patrol operations. During his tenure, an unprecedented amount of border enforcement infrastructure and technology was put in place to address a number of intractable border security challenges. Mr. Nicley managed Operation Jumpstart, a Presidential initiative that deployed 6,000 military personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to augment Border Patrol operations.

For over 3 years, Mr. Nicley served as the Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol in Washington, D.C. As second-in-command of the agency, he provided direction and oversight for Border Patrol operations nationwide. His duties included agency budget formulation, policy development, personnel deployment, resource acquisition, and strategic planning.

Mr. Nicley served as the Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol Program in the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Western Regional Office, where he oversaw all Border Patrol operations in the western United States. He was involved in the development and implementation of the agency's multi-year southern border enforcement strategy, and he co-authored the Border Patrol’s long-term enforcement plan to establish nationwide border control.

For over 3 years, Mr. Nicley served as the Chief Patrol Agent of the Yuma Sector. While stationed in Yuma, he designed and implemented the Rescue Beacon Project, an initiative that has been directly responsible for saving many lives in the border region’s harsh environment. He created and deployed Camp Desert Grip, an initiative that places enforcement resources in remote desert settings close to the border for extended periods of time. Forward operating bases have since become a critical element in border control efforts.

Mr. Nicley was a member of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, and he served on the organization’s National Advisory Board.

Mr. Nicley, was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He held an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Political Science. Mr. Nicely passed away in 2014.