James Pendergraph is executive director of the ICE Office of State and Local Coordination. The first person to hold this position, Mr. Pendergraph heads an office responsible for coordinating U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) participation in programs and activities that relate to state and local governments and their respective law enforcement entities.
Mr. Pendergraph joined ICE in December 2007 after serving for 13 years as the sheriff of Mecklenburg County, N.C. During that time he was recognized for his innovative thinking and partnership with federal authorities on immigration enforcement. As Mecklenburg’s sheriff, he spearheaded the use of the 287(g) program, through which ICE provides training and supervision that allow state and local authorities to provide targeted immigration enforcement.
Mr. Pendergraph’s law enforcement career began when he served as military policeman with the U.S. Army. Following his military service, Mr. Pendergraph became a police officer with the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Police Department. He served with distinction in that department for 23 years, reaching the rank of deputy chief. He was first elected Mecklenburg County Sheriff in 1994 and was re-elected to three additional terms before joining ICE.
Mr. Pendergraph is a graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and FBI National Executive Institute. He has served in leadership positions with numerous law enforcement associations, including the National Sheriffs’ Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
A native of Charlotte, Mr. Pendergraph and his wife Lori have three sons.