Lewis Merletti


Director, U.S. Secret Service (Retired)

Lewis Merletti is one of the founding partners of Merletti Gonzales International Security Consulting. Merletti started his career with the U.S. Military, serving in the United States Army Special Forces including a tour of duty with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. Among the citations he earned were the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Medical Badge and Parachute Jump Wings.

A 25 year veteran of the United States Secret Service, Merletti served as the agency’s 19th Director. Before becoming Director of the Secret Service Merletti served as assistant director in the Office of Training for all Secret Service employees. He served in the Presidential Protective Division under Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Clinton, and was named as the Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protective Division (PPD), the 22nd agent to hold that position in the history of the Secret Service dating back to 1865. As the Special Agent in Charge of PPD he was ultimately responsible for the physical security of the President and First Family.


Following his retirement from the U.S. Secret Service, Merletti joined the Cleveland Browns as the Senior Vice President. He was responsible for all operations to include disaster recovery, the direction, design and deployment of security for the entire Cleveland Browns operation, including the owners, coaches, players and public safety on game days. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Merletti was a primary driver in having the United States Secret Service designated that year’s Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans as a National Security Special Event (NSSE) resulting in the Secret Service providing the protection plan as well as physical protection. At the request of the NFL, Merletti was appointed as a newly established NFL Security Advisor and developed security practices at all NFL stadiums.

Lewis Merletti Picture


  • Three United States Secret Service Special Achievement Awards
  • 1987 Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Certificate for Outstanding Support to the Security Division
  • Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • 1993 Secretary of Treasury Commendation for Waco review investigation. (David Koresh & Branch Davidian Compound)
  • 1997 Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive in the Senior Executive Service
  • 1998 The Treasury Medal, the second highest honor bestowed by the Secretary and seldom presented, in Recognition of Singular Accomplishments and Leadership in the Treasury Department, and for Rendering Exemplary Service to his Profession, his Department, and his Country
  • 1998 Republic of Columbia, by Decree Number 1086, awarded the Medal of the Administrative Department of Security in the degree of Distinguished Services, category “Great medal” for support granted to the Government of the Republic of Columbia and especially to the Administrative Department of Security
  • The Lewis C. Merletti Complex for the Office of Training at the United States Secret Service James R. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, MD
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