Rear Admiral McPherson assumed the duties of the Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security in June 2019. His primary responsibility is to provide counsel to the Secretary regarding policies, plans, and other affairs between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.
Rear Admiral McPherson has more than 30 years of service including nearly 12 years cumulative sea time aboard six cutters, including Commanding Officer of cutters MIDGETT, VIGOROUS and BARANOF. Staff assignments included Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard Thirteenth District headquartered in Seattle, Chief of the Response Division (DR) and Chief of the Enforcement Branch (DRE) for the Coast Guard Seventh District in Miami, Press Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington, D.C., Chief of Strategic Communications in the Headquarters Office of Governmental and Public Affairs, Public Affairs Officer for the Atlantic Area/Fifth District in Portsmouth, Virginia, and an assignment to the Seventh District Tactical Law Enforcement Team (D7 TACLET) in Miami, Florida.
In addition to his regular duties, Rear Admiral McPherson was assigned to several joint and interagency unified commands in response to national contingency operations. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he was responsible for leading public affairs efforts for all Coast Guard forces within the Atlantic Area and U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic. In 2002, Rear Admiral McPherson deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (JTF GTMO) Joint Information Center in support of Global War on Terror (GWOT) detention operations there. Rear Admiral McPherson also served as Press Secretary to the Principal Federal Official for disaster response and recovery operations in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast in 2005.
A native of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, Rear Admiral McPherson graduated with Honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. Rear Admiral McPherson earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His personal awards include one Legion of Merit, six Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals (with “O” device), two Coast Guard Commendation Medals (with “O” device), one Navy Commendation Medal, and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.