News Release
May 3, 2007
Contact:  Garrison Courtney

Survey Shows DEA a Government Leader; Great Place to Work

MAY 3 -- (Washington, D.C.)—The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to distinguish itself as one of the high performers among government agencies that employees rate as an outstanding place to work, according to the 2006 Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS) and the Best Places to Work rankings in the Federal Government 2006.  DEA ranks in the Top 20 best places to work in the Federal Government, placing 18 out of 222 agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's rankings of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, which is based on responses from more than 221,000 civil servants.  Such high ratings are important to recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest employees.

 DEA significantly exceeded ratings of other Government agencies in many measures of “Performance Culture,” including:  


  • employees feel personally empowered; 
  • creativity and innovation are rewarded along with providing high-quality products and services;
  • promotions are based on merit;
  • performance appraisals are a fair reflection of performance;
  • discussions with supervisors about performance are worthwhile;
  • supervisors provide employees with constructive suggestions to improve job performance;
  • poor performers are dealt with; and
  • complaints and grievances are fairly resolved.

The survey revealed that the majority of DEA employees trust their supervisor, believe the workforce is representative of all segments of society, and would recommend DEA as a good place to work. 


“These survey results confirm what I see every day when I come to work:  talented employees more committed than ever to fighting drugs, whether they’re a Special Agent, investigator, chemist, analyst, accountant, or secretary,” said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. “The dedication runs deep here, and there’s a reason for it.  DEA’s mission is vital to the security of this great nation—and every day our heroic employees have the rewarding job of making America safer and better for future generations.” 


DEA scored well above the Government-wide job satisfaction norms, with DEA employees responding positively about the agency’s mission, teamwork, and work quality:


  • 90% feel the work they do is important;
  • 87% like the kind of work they do;
  • 87% know how their work relates to DEA’s goals and priorities;
  • 86% feel that their co-workers cooperate to get the job done; and
  • 86% favorably rate the overall quality of their work group’s products. 

Recent awards and recognition to DEA echo these survey findings:   


  • DEA Special Agents are frequently recognized for their valor in performing their jobs. In fact, SA Troy Willardson of DEA’s Denver Division will be recognized May 12 as a 2007 TOP COPS award winner for his heroic actions that saved the life of a fellow officer and 27 preschool children from an armed and drugged fugitive wanted for attempted murder.  
  • The DEA team who rescued 70 elderly and infirm patients of a New Orleans nursing home trapped in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a finalist for the 2006 Service to America Citizen Services Medal for their impact on addressing the needs of the nation. The team, despite nearby gunfire, rising waters, and looters, carried the residents, many crippled in wheelchairs and bedridden, down five flights of stairs to safety and provided supplies to dozens more who were evacuated days later.    
  • For DEA’s heroic actions rescuing over 3,000 stranded Americans during Hurricane Katrina, Hearst Newspapers lauded DEA as only one of two agencies in the relief efforts to get the “people piece right” in its emergency response. The newspaper said DEA is “recognized for emphasizing worker training and then empowering their employees to make independent decisions in the field.”  It recognized DEA for doing what the most effective organizations in the world do: “putting substantial resources and effort into training, leadership development, and innovative management strategies that motivate and enable their employees to excel—whether in day-to-day operations or in a crisis.”  
  • Last year, DEA’s innovative teen website,, won the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Information Technology. This state-of-the-art anti-drug website has reached millions of teenagers with the facts and science about the dangers and consequences of illegal drugs.  
  • For two years in a row, DEA has distinguished itself as the only law enforcement agency in the Department of Justice to receive clean financial audits free of any material weaknesses or reportable conditions, according to the independent auditing firm of KPMG LLP.