Rear Admiral Melissa Bert

Director of Governmental and Public Affairs (CG-092)

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Bert is the Director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where she is responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other inter-governmental entities. Previously she served as the Deputy Director of Operations for Headquarters United States Northern Command, where she was responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities for North America, as well as theater security cooperation with Mexico and The Bahamas.


In previous tours, she served as the Coast Guard Seventh District’s Chief of Staff, responsible for oversight of Coast Guard operations in the Southeastern United States and Caribbean. Just prior, she served as the Chief of the Coast Guard's Maritime and International Law Office, supporting U.S. engagement with the International Maritime Organization and providing legal advice on a variety of policies – including the Law of the Sea, drug and migrant interdiction, homeland security, search and rescue, pollution response, port and vessel safety/security, counter-terrorism, Arctic policy, and environmental protection.


Rear Admiral Bert’s Coast Guard career has encompassed operational and legal tours. She was the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the Seventh District in Miami, FL and a Military Judge. She was the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Juneau and Captain of the Port for Southeastern Alaska. During the attacks of 9/11, she was the Operations Officer for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, California. She also previously served aboard two cutters, including as Executive Officer of the Cutter Red Birch in Baltimore, Maryland.


Rear Admiral Bert is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and George Washington University Law School. She has been a national security fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a military fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. She has taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University and University of Miami Law School.


Her honors include the United Way American Values Award, the Joint Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, and three Meritorious Service Medals. She was awarded the Young Military Lawyer of the Year for the Coast Guard by the American Bar Association in 1997 and the Judge Advocates Association Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award in 2006. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Proctor in Admiralty in the United States Maritime Law Association.