San Francisco Leadership

SAC Chris Nielsen San Francisco
SAC Chris Nielsen San Francisco
Chris Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

Chris Nielsen currently serves as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division where he oversees all enforcement operations, drug diversion, regulatory investigations, and administrative operations throughout Northern California and the Central Valley.

Mr. Nielsen graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1991.  In 1996, Mr. Nielsen began his career with the DEA and was assigned to the San Francisco Field Division Fresno Resident Office as a Special Agent.  In this capacity, Mr. Nielsen conducted numerous large-scale clandestine methamphetamine laboratory investigations and worked a variety of federal drug cases including those with significant local impact and others with international ties. 

In 2003, Mr. Nielsen was assigned to the DEA Santa Cruz, Bolivia Resident Office where he liaised with foreign police counterparts and other US Government agencies to improve counterdrug law enforcement capability in Bolivia.  In 2007, Mr. Nielsen was promoted to Group Supervisor at the Santa Cruz, Bolivia Resident Office, where he oversaw all DEA operational matters within the Department of Santa Cruz.

In 2009, Mr. Nielsen was selected as the Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Greenville, South Carolina Resident Office.  In this capacity, Mr. Nielsen supervised all enforcement operations in eleven counties.  Additionally, Mr. Nielsen managed all administrative and financial operations of the office. 

In 2012, Mr. Nielsen was assigned as the Country Attaché of the DEA Frankfurt, Germany Office.  In this capacity Mr. Nielsen focused DEA’s operations on international money laundering and South/Central American trans-national criminal organizations importing cocaine into Europe.

In 2015, Mr. Nielsen was transferred to DEA Headquarters in Washington D.C., where he held various mid-level and senior-level management positions.  Mr. Nielsen was promoted to Executive Assistant to the Director of Human Resources and in 2017 Mr. Nielsen was reassigned as Executive Assistant to the DEA Deputy Administrator.  In this capacity, he managed and coordinated all domestic and international senior executives with direct reporting responsibility to the Office of the Deputy Administrator.  Additionally, Mr. Nielsen communicated with senior officials within the Department of Justice and Congressional staff members.  Further, he served as the DEA Administrator’s special assistant and accompanied the DEA Administrator during periods of travel. 

In April 2018, Mr. Nielsen was assigned as Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the San Francisco Field Division.  In May 2018, Mr. Nielsen was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division. 

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