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DEA Administrator

photo - Michele LeonhartMichele M. Leonhart was unanimously confirmed as the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration by the U.S. Senate on December 22, 2010, following her nomination by President Obama in February 2010. In that capacity, Ms. Leonhart, a career DEA Special Agent, directs the $2.02 billion agency and is responsible for over 10,000 employees in domestic offices throughout the U.S. and in 83 foreign offices in 63 countries. Ms. Leonhart had been the Acting Administrator since November 2007, and served as DEA’s Deputy Administrator since 2004. ...Read More

Prior to becoming Administrator and Deputy Administrator, Ms. Leonhart held several positions within DEA’s Senior Executive Service (SES). She was the Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division from 1998-2003. In that capacity, she commanded one of DEA’s largest Field Divisions and was responsible for all enforcement and administrative operations in the Los Angeles area, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. She previously held the position of Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s San Francisco Field Division from 1997-1998, becoming DEA’s first female ever to be promoted to the position of Special Agent in Charge. Ms. Leonhart’s first appointment within the SES was in 1996 when she spearheaded DEA’s Special Agent Recruitment efforts at DEA Headquarters.

As a career DEA Special Agent, Ms. Leonhart held several key positions as she moved through the ranks of DEA. In 1995 she was promoted to the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, responsible for Southwest Border enforcement operations and division administrative functions. Between 1993 and 1995, Ms. Leonhart held management positions within DEA Headquarters to include Career Board Executive Secretary, Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Inspector, and Staff Coordinator in the Operations Division. Ms. Leonhart’s first supervisory position was in DEA’s San Diego Field Division. Prior to that, Ms. Leonhart initiated major drug investigations and conspiracy cases in Minneapolis and St. Louis, and served as a DEA Special Agent recruiter.

While at DEA, she attended Boston University’s Leadership Institute, and is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations in recognition of her leadership, performance and commitment to public service. She was awarded the rank of Distinguished Executive by President Bush in 2004, the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service from President Bush in 2005, and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service from President Clinton in 2000. Additionally, Administrator Leonhart received the Law Enforcement Exploring William H. Spurgeon Award in 2006, the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee Award in 2005, and the Administrator’s Award in 1993.

Ms. Leonhart has more than 30 years in law enforcement, beginning her law enforcement career as a Baltimore City Police Officer after graduating from college in Minnesota with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice in 1978. She joined the ranks of DEA as a Special Agent in 1980. A native of Minnesota, Ms. Leonhart is married and has two sons.


DEA Deputy Administrator

Photo of Thomas M. HarriganThomas M. Harrigan was confirmed as the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012, following his nomination by President Obama in February 2011. As Deputy Administrator he is the chief operating officer of the DEA, overseeing all enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory operations, and is the principal advisor to the Administrator. He also serves as DEA’s Chief of Operations and is responsible for leading DEA’s global drug enforcement efforts in 216 domestic offices as well as 85 foreign offices in 65 countries, the Special Operations Division, the Aviation Division, the Training Division and the Office of Diversion Control. ...Read More

Mr. Harrigan began his career as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1987 in the New York Field Division. He coordinated enforcement efforts against the notorious Rodriguez-Orejuela drug trafficking organization that led to the arrest and incarceration of several high-ranking members of the Colombian-based cartel, and the seizure of tons of cocaine and illicit proceeds throughout the United States, Colombia, and Panama.

In 1994, Mr. Harrigan was assigned to the Bangkok Country Office. While serving there, he directed an investigation that led to the identification and dismantlement of an organization responsible for the importation of multi-kilogram quantities of heroin into the United States. This organization utilized dozens of U.S. citizens as couriers that smuggled heroin from Southeast Asia to Chicago.

He left Bangkok in 1996 and was promoted to Group Supervisor in the Newark Field Division where he managed a Task Force group that was recognized by state and county officials for its significant enforcement achievements. He was reassigned to DEA Headquarters in 1999 where he served as a Staff Coordinator in the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs.

In 2000, Mr. Harrigan was promoted to the Operations Division as Section Chief of the Dangerous Drugs and Chemicals Section where he oversaw a multi-jurisdictional investigation that resulted in the largest LSD seizure in history. In 2001, he was reassigned as the Deputy Chief in the Office of Domestic Operations. During that time, he served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Domestic Operations, assisting and providing oversight and direction to Domestic Operations’ Section Chiefs on a variety of budgetary and operational matters. He left the Operations Division in 2003 and reported as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Washington Field Division with responsibility over High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Forces, offices in West Virginia, and the Administrative and Special Support Units.

In 2004, Mr. Harrigan was appointed to the Senior Executive Service to serve as the Chief of Enforcement Operations. In this role, Mr. Harrigan was the principal deputy for the Chief of Operations and directed the re-organization of DEA’s Operations Division. Mr. Harrigan, a native of New York City, has a Master’s Degree in Education from Seton Hall University and has attended a number of government, military, and private leadership courses including Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Leadership Program. Mr. Harrigan is married and has four children.


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