NU Borders was formed by a group of former employees from the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm. DHS is a truly diverse investigative entity, with multiple mission areas and mandates that protect the nation at its borders. NU Borders includes former investigators and management who have decades of hands-on border-enforcement experience related to counter-proliferation, commercial fraud and Intellectual Property Rights violations, anti-money laundering and bulk cash smuggling violations, human trafficking and contraband smuggling.  Additionally, the NU Borders team consists of highly skilled IT professionals who have designed and maintained some of DHS’ high-volume, complex data systems. The Leadership team at NU Borders includes:

Thariq_HeadshotThariq Kara – Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Prior to founding NU Borders, Thariq was the Lead Data Architect at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He has run the Data Architecture arm at ICE Office of the Chief Information Officer, with oversight over all IT systems in a $400 million portfolio, and helped set up ICE’s first Data Management Office. Thariq led an effort to restructure the data architecture and data management component for ICE’s major transactional systems and was the primary author of ICE’s Reference Data Architecture Guideline.

Additionally, Thariq architected and managed ICE’s first Big Data storage and analytical system, that had the Hadoop File System (HDFS) at its core. The system supported ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, National Security Investigations Division, and was integral to assisting HSI with WMD-related cases. He has held the position of Program Manager within ICE OCIO, for programs and projects that have covered data warehousing, search, analysis, visualization and data management. 

Thariq Kara received a Master’s in Engineering Management from Duke University in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2007. He has won the ICE Director’s Award as well the DHS S&T Under Secretary’s Award.

Tim_Gildea_HeadshotTimothy Gildea  – Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer

Special Agent (Retired) Timothy N. Gildea worked for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and its predecessor agency U.S. Customs Service from 1983 to 2014. He has conducted numerous cross-border crime investigations and served on several forces including the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Transportation Task Force. From 2003 to 2009, Special Agent Gildea served at the Assistant ICE Attaché, Toronto Office. He has also served as a Special Agent and Counter-Proliferation Investigations Program Manager in Boston, MA and Washington, DC, respectively.                                                                       
For the last five years, Dr. Gildea has worked with the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology, the Export Enforcement Coordination Center (E2C2) and Northeastern University, in developing the Border Enforcement Analytics Program (BEAP), that established Big Data analytic capabilities and methodologies to search high-volume government and trade data sets for indicators of illicit proliferation and other border-related violations.
Dr. Gildea received his Ph.D. in Law and Policy from Northeastern University, Boston, MA in 2003.

WCOKenneth MacDonald – Senior Adviser for Border Security and Customs Compliance

Mr. MacDonald has over thirty years of criminal investigative experience regarding cross border crimes with an expertise in export control and counter-proliferation investigations. Mr. MacDonald was a Special Agent with the U.S. Customs Service and later with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). His career included field and headquarters level work specializing in export crimes.  He also served as the Customs/HSI Attaché in Vienna, Austria responsible for all investigative operational activities in thirteen Eastern European countries. 

Mr. MacDonald was also assigned as the export enforcement subject matter expert to the White House Task Force on Export Control Reform.  The Task Force was charged with conducting a broad-based review of the U.S. export control system with the goal of strengthening national security and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors by focusing on current threats and adapting to the changing economic and technological landscape.  Mr. MacDonald has also worked as a Principal Investigator with  Northeastern University’s, Institute for Security and Public Policy (ISPP).  ISPP is working on a three-year project with HSI, to enhance the government’s enforcement and compliance capabilities by developing and utilizing automated Big Data analytical techniques on government and private-sector trade systems.