Meet the Board – Gordon S. Heddell
Gordon S. Heddell was sworn in as the Inspector General for the Department of Defense on July 14, 2009, one year after being appointed as Acting Inspector General. Prior to joining the DoD IG, Mr. Heddell had served as the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor since January 2001.
Mr. Heddell began his Government service in 1966 as an Army Chief Warrant Officer, Helicopter Pilot, serving in both Korea and Taiwan during the Vietnam-era conflict.
Following his military tours of duty, Mr. Heddell served for 29 years in the U.S. Secret Service, where he held various law enforcement, management, and leadership positions. He began his career with the Secret Service as a Special Agent, progressing to Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in 1982. Between 1982 and 1985, he served as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in the Office of Administration, where he managed the day-to-day administrative operations of the Secret Service, nationwide.
Mr. Heddell then served for two years as Assistant to the Special Agent-in-Charge in the Washington field office where he directed investigations of threats made against the President, Vice President, and other high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C. Between 1987 and 1989, he served as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in the Philadelphia field office, where he supervised complex criminal investigations relating to counterfeiting and various types of financial fraud.
From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Heddell served as Deputy Assistant Director, where he managed inspections of offices, as well as internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing by employees, worldwide. He also served, in this capacity, for two years in the Office of Training, where he was the executive responsible for the development and execution of training programs provided to the Secret Service’s 4,800 employees.
Mr. Heddell assumed an executive position in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in 1993, as Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge. In 1995, he was promoted to Special Agent-in-Charge and served in that position until 1998. During his tenure in this division, he directed the physical protection of the Vice President and the security of the Vice President’s residence.
From 1998 until December 2000, Mr. Heddell served as Assistant Director. In this executive position, he led the Secret Service’s Inspection and Internal Affairs programs, worldwide.
In addition to dozens of outstanding performance ratings and numerous letters of commendation, Mr. Heddell was the recipient in 1997 of the prestigious Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for outstanding government service.
Mr. Heddell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri, a Master of Arts degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois [formerly Sangamon State University], and was a Woodrow Wilson Public Service Fellow while at the Secret Service. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was the creator of the Secret Service’s mentoring program at two D.C. public schools.