Board of Directors

Michele M. Leonhart

Michele Leonhart is the former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), having been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2010 and serving until her retirement in May 2015. She was the first female career federal law enforcement agent to ever lead a federal law enforcement agency. Michele’s 34-year career in the DEA encompassed various positions with increasing levels of responsibility, including Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division from 1998 to 2003, Deputy Administrator (nominated by President Bush) from 2003 to 2007, Acting Administrator from 2007 to 2010, and then Administrator (nominated by President Obama) of the $2.4 billion agency. In this capacity, she was responsible for all enforcement, intelligence, laboratory, administrative, and regulatory operations, and oversaw 9,000 employees around the globe in 227 domestic offices and 86 foreign offices.

Michele serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of D.A.R.E America/D.A.R.E International and Chair of the Board of Directors of the DEA Educational Foundation. She is a board member of the DEA Survivor Benefit Fund, and a leadership council member of the Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions. She is also a member of the narcotics and dangerous drugs committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), a not-for-profit organization.

Michele is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, and twice received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bemidji State University in Minnesota and attended Boston University’s Leadership Institute.

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