Michele Leonhart Finally Gets the Final Nod to Head DEA; Senate Vote Was Unanimous

Michele Leonhart
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — After serving as acting head of the DEA since November 2007, Michele Leonhart finally got confirmed as the permanent leader of the agency.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night unanimously voted to confirm Leonhart, making her the 10th administrator in the DEA’s history, the agency said.

Leonhart is the first female DEA Special Agent to rise through the ranks of the agency to become its Administrator and the second woman to lead the DEA, the agency said. She joined the agency in 1980.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to lead the world’s premier drug law enforcement organization,” Leonhart said in a statement after the Senate vote.

“I am dedicated to meeting the challenges that DEA faces, from disrupting and dismantling extremely violent Mexican based drug cartels; to defeating narco-terrorists operating in Afghanistan and around the world; and doing all we can to reduce prescription drug abuse, our nation’s fastest growing drug threat.”

“I applaud the unanimous confirmation of Michele Leonhart, and agree with the strong bipartisan consensus validating her proven qualifications and effectiveness to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration,” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Leonhart’s long-term status as “acting” head of the agency became a point of irritation to some current and former agents. They felt the White House didn’t care enough about the DEA to address the issue.

Whatever the case, a number of people offered laudatory words.

Margaret Moore, president of Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) remarked: “We are confident that the newly confirmed Administrator will uphold the finest traditions of DEA and provide the constant guidance and leadership for this outstanding law enforcement agency.”

One thought on “Michele Leonhart Finally Gets the Final Nod to Head DEA; Senate Vote Was Unanimous

  1. Okay Michele,, put on your boots and get on down to Afghanistan to see where all the heroin is coming from,, and then let everyone know that it is being protected by the same outfit that wants to put people in prison who use it ! Or, you could just hunt that evil demon marijuana,, yeah, that might be a lot easier. Good luck. I say legalize it all, put it in a farmer’s market every Saturday morning, and let the people who want drugs have them. Problem is, that is no way to have private prisons make money. How can you keep morale high in your troops, when they know it is coming in from Afghanistan ? Hunt it there before it gets here,, make some sense out of it.

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