Lewis C. Merletti is the Senior Vice President for Security for the Cleveland Browns. He is 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, the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Merletti maintains strong relationships with intelligence sources and all-source analysis groups, conducts counter-surveillance, and carries out special activities and functions relating to the design and deployment of state-of-the-art tactical and electronic systems/equipment to ensure the safety at all times for the owner and his family, in the United States as well as abroad.
A 25-year veteran of the United States Secret Service, Merletti served as the agency’s 19th Director prior to joining the Cleveland Browns organization. Before becoming Director of the United States Secret Service, Merletti served as assistant director in the Office of Training, where he was responsible for the curriculum, methodology, and content of training for all Secret Service employees. He served in the Presidential Protective Division under three Presidents, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton; and was named as the Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protective Division (PPD), the 21st 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. Merletti maintains close contact with former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton. He is closely tied to a number of now-retired agents who formerly worked for him as well as former White House staff members with contacts exiting throughout the U.S. Government, a number of which is concentrated in the Department of Homeland Security and its operational agencies. Merletti also maintains contacts with the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General Eric Holder.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Merletti was a primary driver in having the United States Secret Service designate 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 the physical protection. At the request of the NFL, Merletti was appointed as a newly established NFL Security Advisor and developed security practices for all NFL stadiums. Those criteria are still in place and considered the standard for security practices at all the NFL stadiums
Since retirement, Merletti has received the following awards: the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus Award of the McNulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University; the 1999 Distinguished Service Award from the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Foundation; the 2001 Lex et Justitia Award from Marquette University for Outstanding Service to Our Country and Dedication to Truth and Justice; the 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor; and the 2010 Sons of Italy Foundation National Education and Leadership Award, also receiving awards that evening were President William J. Clinton, Lifetime Achievement Award; and Captain Anthony Odierno, Special Award for Courage and Patriotism.
Merletti served three years in the United States Army, 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. As the retired Director of the United States Secret Service he continues to hold Top Secret security clearance and is read into numerous sensitive compartmented information special access programs. Merletti is commissioned as an Adviser to the current Director providing counsel on a wide variety of Agency and governmental issues. Merletti is also Chairman of the Board of E-Merging Technologies Group; a member of the Advisory board for Surefire Holding, LLC; and on the Board of Advisors for IPSA International.