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DEA Operations Head Is Leading Candidate for Agency’s No. 2 Post
By Andrew Ramonas | December 1, 2021 4:14 pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration operations head is the top contender for the agency’s second highest post, Ticklethewire.com reported Wednesday.

Thomas Harrigan (DEA)

DEA Chief of Operations Thomas Harrigan would succeed Michele Leonhart as the Justice Department agency’s deputy administrator.

Leonhart has been the deputy administrator since 2004, in addition to serving as the agency’s acting leader since 2007. President Barack Obama tapped her in February to be the presidentially appointed head of the DEA. She received the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

Harrigan, a 23-year DEA veteran, has been the operations chief since 2008. He is the DEA administrator’s adviser on drug enforcement actions around the globe, overseeing 227 domestic offices and 82 foreign offices.

Harrigan also supervises  the Aviation Division, Special Operations Division and Office of Diversion Control. Read more about him here.

Anthony Placido, DEA Chief of Intelligence, and John P. Gilbride, who leads the New York office of the DEA, also were mentioned as candidates for the post. But Placido decided to retire from the DEA, according to Ticklethewire.com.


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