Ken Melson

Ken Melson

Faculty: Adjunct

Kenneth E. Melson works for the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Postal Service advising the Office of Investigation on legal matters relating to its administrative and criminal cases. 

Prior to retiring from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012, he was the Senior Advisor on Forensic Science in the Office of Legal Policy. He also served as a co-chair of the Subcommittee on Forensic Science, Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council within the Executive Office of the President.

In April of 2009, he was named as Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by President Obama, where he served until August of 2011.

Prior to his service at ATF, Mr. Melson was appointed by the Attorney General as the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) in 2007, where he was responsible for administrative oversight of the 94 U.S. Attorneys Offices and for liaison between the U.S. Attorneys and other Federal agencies and Department of Justice (DOJ) components.

Prior to being Director of EOUSA, Mr. Melson worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia beginning in 1983.  He became the First Assistant United States Attorney in 1986, a post he held until his departure in 2007.  Several times during his career, including on September 11, 2001, he served as the United States Attorney.  He was also a state prosecutor for ten years.

Mr. Melson is a Past President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and a past chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.  He is the Chair of the AAFS Ethics Committee and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Mr. Melson represented the Department of Justice as a board member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) for over a decade.  He has been an adjunct professor at The George Washington University for over 35 years, teaching law and forensic science courses at both the law school and the Department of Forensic Sciences, and has published in scientific texts and legal journals. 


B.A., Denison University; J.D., George Washington University