Former Secret Service director visits


The Mercyhurst University Intelligence Studies Department and the Law Enforcement Intelligence Club welcome former U.S. Secret Service Director Lewis Merletti to campus on Thursday, Nov. 7. Merletti, a former Green Beret, spent 25 years with the U.S. Secret Service, shielding presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. His talk, at 6 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre, is reserved for members of the university community.

Prior to his role as director, Merletti served as assistant director in the Office of Training, where he was responsible for the curriculum and content of training for all Secret Service employees. In addition, he led the Treasury Department’s investigation of the 1993 raid on Branch Davidian near Waco, Texas. He also led the Secret Service in the Clinton Impeachment Trials, arguing that forcing agents to testify would destroy the trust necessary to protect the president’s life, which was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court.

As the retired director of the USSS, Merletti continues to hold Top Secret security clearance and is read into numerous sensitive compartmented information special access programs. He is commissioned as an adviser to the current director providing counsel on a wide variety of agency and governmental issues. 

Merletti is a veteran of the Vietnam War and earned a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army with the 5th Special Forces Group.  He was born in Pittsburgh, and attended Duquesne University, where he earned a B.A. in political science. After leaving the Secret Service in 1999, Merletti worked for the Cleveland Browns and the NFL in the development of security practices.

Merletti is expected to address leadership, ethics and commitment during his talk, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

For more information, contact David Grabelski, chair, intelligence studies department, at 824-3044; or e-mail him at

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