WASHINGTON – Director Brian L. Stafford, a veteran of more than 30 years with the United States Secret Service, has announced his plans to retire effective January 2003.
“I am extremely proud of our accomplishments as an agency,” Stafford said. “I believe there are no more important missions than those of the Secret Service and no finer people in law enforcement. I have always felt privileged to be a part of this agency and very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as its Director.”
Stafford's appointment on March 4, 1999, as the 20th Director of the United States Secret Service, continued the tradition of the agency's lead executive being drawn from the ranks of its career agents. This unique tradition is part of the Secret Service's proud history, which dates back to 1865.
Mr. Stafford began his tenure with the Secret Service in 1971 as a special agent assigned to the Cleveland Field Office. He rose rapidly to the managerial level while serving in a
variety of assignments reflecting the Service's diverse interests and responsibilities.
Consistent with the dual missions of the Secret Service, Mr. Stafford has served in supervisory positions in both protective and investigative assignments, including as Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division.
Mr. Stafford has protected Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton, and has served as Director under both President Clinton and President George W. Bush. Mr.
Stafford was a supervisor for more than five years on President Reagan's security detail, and for more than three years on President Clinton's detail. In his last assignment, he held
the key position of Assistant Director of Protective Operations where he managed the security operations for the President, the First Family, former Presidents, and visiting
heads of state. He is also credited with supervising several National Special Security Events including Super Bowl XXXVI and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
As Director, Mr. Stafford has initiated an unprecedented recruitment and expansion effort aimed at diversifying the agency's workforce and improving the quality of life for agents
and other personnel. He has addressed the global nature of financial crimes by authorizing several new foreign Secret Service field offices in Colombia, Nigeria, Russia,
South Africa, and Mexico. Under Mr. Stafford's leadership, the Secret Service has aggressively targeted the growth of computer crime, establishing a series of nationwide
Electronic Crimes Task Forces, and expanding the Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program by assigning agents with electronic expertise to all 44 Field Offices throughout
the United States and the world. In addition, the Secret Service created the National Threat Assessment Center to help prevent targeted violence and work in partnership with
the Department of Education on the Safe School Project to assist local law enforcement and school officials detect and prevent threats of school violence.
Director Stafford is also a major advocate of community outreach. Under his direction, the Secret Service has provided critical forensic support to the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children, and Mr. Stafford currently serves as a member of the Center's Board of Directors. The Secret Service has also formed a strong partnership with
the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Prior to joining the Secret Service, Mr. Stafford served in the United States Army and completed a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam, where he earned the Bronze Star. As a
highly decorated war veteran, Mr. Stafford was also awarded the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam
Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. In 2001, Mr. Stafford was the recipient of the Most Distinguished American Award from the Marine Corps Law
Director Stafford is a native of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, from
Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He received the Mount Union College M Club Award of Excellence and was also inducted
into the Ohio Foundation of Independent College's Hall of Excellence in 2002. Among Mr. Stafford's numerous awards include the 1999 Presidential Rank Award, and the
Adam Walsh Rainbow Award presented by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He and his wife, Martha, have two children, Ben and Maggie.