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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
August 6, 2003

Karen P. Tandy Confirmed by Senate as DEA Administrator

On July 31, 2003, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Karen P. Tandy as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Upon being sworn into office, Ms. Tandy addressed many of the issues that lay ahead of her.

"I am committed to devoting all of my energy to do whatever it takes to remove drugs as a threat to the security and the future of our great country. We are now faced with extraordinary challenges that demand true leadership that will promote proactive and bold initiatives in the identification and elimination of those drug organizations that threaten our children, our communities and our nation. I intend to enhance the vision of DEA with a combination of focused strategies and cultivated partnerships that will enable us to achieve maximum impact in drug law enforcement."

Ms. Tandy has been employed by the Department of Justice since 1979, rising to the position of Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. She was appointed to the position of Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of the OCDETF program in 1999. In her capacity as Associate Deputy Attorney General, she was responsible for oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Drug Intelligence Center, as well as for developing drug enforcement policy and strategies. As Director of OCDETF, she managed a $500 million program that spans three departments and nine agencies and involves the active participation of more than 2,200 federal agents, 500 federal prosecutors, and 6,800 state and local law enforcement officers in all 50 states.

Between 1990 and 1999, Ms. Tandy served in a variety of positions in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice where she supervised the Department's drug and forfeiture litigation. As Deputy Chief of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section, she was responsible for nationwide supervision of the Department's narcotics prosecutions. She also managed a nationwide program with responsibility for implementing and coordinating drug wiretap investigations among federal prosecutors.

From 1979 to 1990, Ms. Tandy was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and in the Western District of Washington where she handled the prosecution of violent crime and complex drug, international money laundering and forfeiture cases. In the early 1980s, while serving as a prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, Ms. Tandy pioneered federal efforts to seize the assets of drug organizations as a means of dismantling these criminal enterprises.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ms. Tandy clerked for the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas. She is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, a graduate of Texas Tech University and a 1977 graduate of the Texas Tech Law School.

Questions can be directed to DEA - Public Affairs at (202) 307-7977.

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