WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today announced that he will appoint Kenneth E. Melson as Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) at the Department of Justice effective on May 14, 2007. Melson has served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia since June 1986 and will leave that position prior to taking office as Director of EOUSA. He will succeed Mike Battle started serving as Director of EOUSA since June 2006.
“For almost a quarter of a century, Ken Melson has distinguished himself as a respected leader in the U.S. Attorney community,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “Ken has enormous talent, drive, judgment, and initiative, and I am pleased that he will lead the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys with the same passion and commitment he has demonstrated throughout his remarkable career in public service.”
Melson has served in the Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor for nearly 24 years, joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in June 1983 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In June 1986, Melson was asked to serve in a senior leadership position in the office as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney. Additionally, Melson has also served as the Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia on three separate occasions: July 1991-October 1991; March 1993-September 1993; and April 2001-September 2001.
During his tenure as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Melson was active in the EOUSA Evaluation and Review Staff program, participating in numerous reviews of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the country. He also served on many EOUSA working groups, dealing with such matters as security, critical incident responses, anti-terrorism initiative training and other courses for Assistant U.S Attorneys, and helped revise the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Melson served in the Arlington County (Virginia) Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office from April 1975-June 1983. Melson joined the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in April 1975. In January 1978, he was promoted to a managerial position as the Chief Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County. In July 1980, Melson was again promoted to the position of Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County, a position in which he served until June 1983.
Melson currently serves as the Chair for the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, as well as a Board Member for the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board. Melson is a former President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and currently serves as a member of its Ethics Committee and of the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Sciences. In 1992, Melson was part of a three-member State Department Rule of Law Advisory Delegation to the newly independent state of Georgia to provide advice on legal system restructuring. In addition to memberships on numerous boards and societies, Melson has served for 25 years as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School.
Melson received his Juris Doctor with Honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1973. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Denison University in 1970. EOUSA provides administrative oversight to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country. In addition, EOUSA also serves as a liaison between the U.S. Attorneys and other federal agencies and Department of Justice components.