Mariela Melero, Associate Director, Customer Service and Public Engagement

Background and Achievements

Mariela Melero is the associate director of Customer Service and Public Engagement (CSPE) for USCIS. She assumed her role on May 7, 2012.

Under her leadership, CSPE is working to develop and implement a new customer service delivery model. This includes increasing access to agency information and services, promoting transparency between the customer and USCIS and ensuring the customer and stakeholder feedback loop is seamless.

Before her appointment, Melero was the chief of the Office of Public Engagement (OPE). As chief, she directed national stakeholder relations and intergovernmental affairs on behalf of agency leadership and worked closely with DHS components, the White House and other cabinet agencies.

Melero joined federal service in 1987 as director of Public Affairs for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in Houston. She also served as director of the agency’s Regional Office for Congressional and Public Affairs in Dallas. In 2003, Melero joined the agency’s headquarters office in Washington as deputy chief of the newly established USCIS Office of Citizenship. In 2006, she transitioned to the Office of Communications as deputy director.

During her 25-year career with USCIS, Melero has earned national and international visibility for her leadership role in the fields of executive communications, community engagement, the management of far-reaching public education efforts and high-profile events.


Melero obtained her undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communications research from New York University in New York. She also has a master’s in international service from American University in Washington, and a master’s in hemispheric defense and security from the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the Inter American Defense College in Washington.


Last Reviewed/Updated: