arnelly De Jesus is a senior executive and federal law enforcement special agent with over 21 years with the U.S. Secret Service, where she served on protection details and as a criminal investigator for financial crimes. In June 2021, Ms. De Jesus assumed responsibilities as the deputy assistant director/chief integrity officer in the Office of Integrity. She provides leadership and guidance to the headquarters responsible for overseeing adherence to the agencys code of conduct. In addition to her official duties, De Jesus serves as a mentor and leader with the Department of Homeland Security Interagency Working Group, focused on hiring more women in law enforcement.
What is your most memorable investigation/ experience?
My career with the Secret Service has been full of memorable experiences. As a Secret Service agent, you experience what others read about in books. I am privileged to be part of an organization that has a front seat to historical events such as the swearing-in of the first African
Darnelly De Jesus
Criminal Investigator at the US Secret Service
American president and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to name a few. Throughout my career, I traveled the world representing the Secret Service and leading security planning for U.S. leaders, which was rewarding and exhilarating. I am truly blessed to have many great memories, such as flying aboard a Chinook helicopter in Iraq on a surprise trip by the administration to support the troops or sitting next to the vice president on a helicopter ride through the nations capital. I still remember looking out the helicopter window and thinking, Wow! This girl from Jersey is in charge of ensuring the vice president arrives home safely.
The Secret Service is a demanding career; how do you balance having a family and your professional life?
Work-life balance as a law enforcement professional is a huge challenge but one that is achievable. As a mother of twin boys, I am truly blessed because my mom lives with me. She is the glue that holds us all together-my hero. I am genuinely grateful for her support with my boys, but there is still a great deal of coordination between my husband and me to ensure one of us is always home in the evenings.
What is the biggest misconception about being a female in the USSS?
They are many, but one that always seems to come up is regarding work-life balance. It is often perceived that you need to make a choice of either having a family or advancing in the agency. The reality is that there are various career tracks in the Secret Service that allow women opportunities to grow professionally and advance through the ranks. The Secret Service also offers many opportunities for career development. Since the birth of my boys, I have earned my masters degree from the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University while rising through the ranks from a front- line supervisor to being appointed as an executive in the agency.
During your tenure, how have things changed for women in the Secret Service, and where do you see the agency going in that regard?
I have seen a great deal of positive change in the Secret Service since I became a special agent more than 22 years ago. For example, women continue to occupy more leadership roles within the agency, and they are paving the way for more women to rise through the ranks. At present, there is an agency-wide initiative to bolster the recruitment of more women. As we continue increasing our efforts to recruit and hire more women, we also need to execute parallel efforts focused on the retention and advancement of women to create a diverse talent pipeline to ensure women are represented at all levels.Previous Page