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Name: Melson, Kenneth
Current Position: Former Director
On April 8, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Ken Melson, since May 14, 2007, the director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, would be the next Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  As a result of the scandal relating to the "Fast and Furious" program that put put weapons in the hands of drug cartels, Melson was forced to resign on August 30, 2011.
ATF, which has 4,500 employees and a $1 billion operating budget, is responsible for investigating and preventing crimes involving the unlawful use, manufacture and possession of firearms and explosives, arson and bombings, and illegal trafficking or manufacture of alcohol and tobacco products.   
Melson earned a Bachelor of Arts from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, in 1970 and a Juris Doctor with Honors from the George Washington University Law School in 1973.
He joined the Arlington County, VA, 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 he held until June 1983.
Melson joined the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in June 1983 as an Assistant US Attorney. In June 1986, he was asked to serve in a senior leadership position in the office as the First Assistant US Attorney. Additionally, he served as the Interim US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia on three separate occasions: July 1991 to October 1991; March 1993 to September 1993; and April 2001 to September 2001.
On May 4, 2007, Melson was named Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, which has general supervisory authority over the Justice Department’s hundreds of federal prosecutors located in 94 offices throughout the US and its territories. 
Melson is a former chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and has served as a member of its Ethics Committee and on the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Sciences. He currently participates on behalf of the Department on the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board. In 1992, Melson was part of a three-member State Department Rule of Law Advisory Delegation to the newly independent state of Georgia that provided advice on legal system restructuring. Melson has also worked for almost 30 years as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School.
Holder Begins Justice Revamp (by Carrie Johnson, Washington Post)
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