Today@Sam Article

CJ Alumna Recognized Among Top Women In Biometrics

June 25, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney

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Sam Houston State University alumna Jeni Best was recently recognized as one of five distinguished biometrics and security leaders to earn a 2020 Women in Biometrics Award by the Security Industry Association (SIA).

Biometrics is the science of analyzing physical or behavioral characteristics specific to each individual to be able to authenticate their identity. The Women in Biometrics Awards honor the efforts of top female leaders helping drive the biometric identity and security industry.

JB11.Crop1“Each year, the Women in Biometrics Awards recognize the best and brightest talent helping to advance biometrics technologies, which are essential to securing identities today, and the achievements of these female industry leaders are improving processes like air travel, enhancing cutting-edge fields like facial recognition and working to keep people safe,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA applauds the 2020 honorees for their impressive dedication, innovation and leadership in this critical technology market.”

Best currently works as a branch chief for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Her expertise is reflected in her contribution to CBP’s Biometric Exit Program, to Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control, and to CBP’s exit roll-out strategy. In addition, she has led implementation of biometric exit systems at 27 U.S. airports and two international locations.

In her field, Best has seen biometrics evolve from biographical information, to fingerprinting, to the use of photos and facial comparison technology. These efforts are all ways in which the CBP aims to streamline the travel process, while also creating a more secure, efficient and contactless travel environment for everyone. 

“The potential capabilities biometrics present to enhancing the way CBP does business has endless possibilities,” Best said. “The biometric program is advancing as a public-private partnership allowing me to once again draw on my academic background, specifically community policing and establishing relationships within the community.”

Best, with over 20 years of working on issues related to immigration, travel and tourism, business transformation initiatives and biometrics, credits SHSU for laying the foundational groundwork for her successful career trajectory.

“Sam Houston State has a highly recognized criminal justice program and seemed like the perfect fit to meet my educational goals. I majored in Criminal Justice –Police Sciences and graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree,” Best said. “My time spent at SHSU was an incredible experience. I immersed myself in topics like community policing, legal aspects of law enforcement, criminal procedure, leadership and human behavior. I sat in classrooms consuming my professor’s knowledge and experience. I spent a great deal of time focused on aspects of community policing and applied leadership. I believed these concepts were strong foundations to build a knowledge base upon, both academically and professionally.”

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