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January 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: chief of operations

Senate Confirms Thomas Harrigan as #2 Person at DEA

Thomas Harrigan/dea photo

By Allan Lengel

More than a year after being nominated by the White House, the Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Thomas Harrigan as the number two person at DEA.

“I cannot think of a better, more qualified, or more honorable person to have at my side than Special Agent Tom Harrigan as we lead the Drug Enforcement Administration through the many challenges we will face and the many successes we will have in the coming years,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart in a statement.

“Tom demonstrated strong leadership and dedication in the field, and his strategic vision as Chief of Operations has been second to none. Special Agent Harrigan’s confirmation enhances our nation’s safety and security by placing a proven, well respected career agent in this critical position at DEA.”

Harrigan, a well respected figure in the DEA, has been the Chief of Operations. He started his career with the agency in 1987 and was assigned to the Bangkok in 1991.

After that, according to the White House, “he has served as Group Supervisor in the Newark Field Division, Staff Coordinator in the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, Chief of the Dangerous Drugs and Chemicals Section, and Deputy Chief in the Office of Domestic Operations. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Domestic Operations and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Washington Field Office.

In 2004, Mr. Harrigan was appointed to the Senior Executive Service to serve as the Chief of Enforcement Operations.

“I am so pleased to hear of DEA Special Agent Harrigan’s confirmation as Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration,”  John “Jack” C. Lawn, DEA Administrator from 1985 to 1990 said in a statement. “Tom’s more than 25 years of experience both in domestic and international operations and his exceptional management skills make him uniquely qualified for this position. As Deputy Administrator, he solidifies this leadership role whose responsibilities will be so important to DEA’s future. He now speaks from a position of strength as DEA’s Deputy Administrator.”


Thomas Harrigan Rumored to be Front Runner for #2 Spot at DEA

Thomas Harrigan/dea photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON —   The rumor mill has  Thomas M. Harrigan, chief of DEA operations, as the  front runner for the number two spot in the agency, according to people familiar with the situation.

The number two spot was held by Michele Leonhart, who has been acting head of the agency, and has been nominated for the permanent spot by President Obama.  On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave  her nomination the nod. She must still be confirmed by the full Senate.

The DEA declined comment on Wednesday on the number two spot in the agency.

In the past several months, other names that have surfaced for the number two spot include Anthony Placido, chief of intelligence, and John P. Gilbride, head of the N.Y. DEA.  However,  Placido has now opted to retire.

John Gilbride

Harrigan, who joined the DEA in 1987, heads up all domestic and foreign offices as well the Special Operations Division, the Aviation Division, and the Office of Diversion Control. He was appointed to the post in 2008.

Gilbride was appointed head of the N.Y. DEA in 2005. Prior to that, he headed up the Detroit office.