At a Glance
- Career History:
Defense Department, Acting Inspector General (2008-2009);
Department of Labor
, Inspector General (2000-2008);
U.S. Secret Service
, Assistant Director (1998-2000)
- Hometown: Festus and Crystal City, Mo.
- Alma Mater: University of Missouri, B.A.; University of Illinois, M.A., 1975
- Spouse: Jana
- DC Office: 400 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202-4704
- Web site
Path To Power
Heddell grew up in Missouri, just south of Saint Louis. He learned to fly from his father, who had piloted planes for theNavy during World War II. He began his studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he studied political science, but during the Vietnam War, he joined the Army. As a chief warrant office, he specialized in flying helicopters, and served stints in Korea and in Taiwan.
After returning home, Heddell finished his undergraduate degree and applied to join the Secret Service, which was then expanding its ranks. He had already begun studying law when he was offered a job in the Springfield, Ill., office.
Heddell took over the Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General when, as of 2008, it was understaffed and under fire for its failure to investigate whistleblower claims.
As DoD IG, Heddell has defended his office from criticism from lawmakers like Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who charged that the IG's office has overlooked waste and fraud. Heddell responded that he had worked to improve the timeliness of reports, investigate inefficiencies in major acquisition systems, and audited the DoD's spare-parts program.
Heddell's long career in government has put him in contact with a range of politicians and government officials. As a Secret Service agent, he oversaw of security of then-Vice President Al Gore, for instance.
As inspector general at the Department of Labor, he coordinated with leaders like then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on racketeering investigations. As Defense Department IG, he has met with military leaders like Gen. David Petraeus.