News Release
October 28, 2008
DEA Public Affairs
Number: 202-307-7977

DEA Acting Administrator Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Federal Drug Agents Foundation Presents Award to Several DEA Officials at NY Reception

OCT 28 -- (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart received the Federal Drug Agents Foundation’s first-ever lifetime achievement award for her 28 years of service in law enforcement at a reception in New York City on Monday, Oct. 27.

Leonhart, who was named the Acting Administrator in November, 2007, was joined by nine other DEA agents who received awards at the Federal Drug Agents Foundation’s 8th annual event. 

Prior to becoming a DEA Special Agent in 1980, Leonhart served as a police officer in Baltimore, Maryland. After joining the DEA, she routinely posed as an undercover agent in numerous federal drug investigations, and initiated and coordinated numerous complex conspiracy investigations. The drug traffickers she arrested varied from millionaires to street dealers.
Subsequent assignments included stops in St. Louis, San Diego, Arlington, Va., and Los Angeles. In 1997, Leonhart was appointed as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of DEA’s San Francisco Field Division, where she served until her appointment in September 1998 as the SAC of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division. In that capacity, she commanded DEA offices and enforcement operations in the Los Angeles area, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan.
Ms. Leonhart was unanimously confirmed as the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration by the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2004, following her nomination by President George W. Bush.
For fifteen years, the Federal Drug Agents Foundation has been dedicated to providing assistance to our nation’s federal agents, task force members, and their families in a variety of ways including bereavement and disability support. Although this is the eighth time the Foundation is holding this reception, it is the first time ever that it has recognized anyone with a lifetime achievement award.