Who We Are

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the only federal agency with a single mission dedicated to drug law enforcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the only federal agency with a single mission dedicated to drug law enforcement. With unique operational and intelligence capabilities, DEA staff identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations, remove drugs and violent criminals from communities, and fight the diversion of illegal drugs. For more information, visit www.dea.gov.

Meet some of the DEA staff and read what they say about teens and drugs.

Special Agents are a select group of men and women from diverse backgrounds who enforce the controlled substance laws by conducting complex criminal investigations, working undercover, carrying out financial investigations, arresting violators, confiscating illegal drugs and more. Some combine this work with providing drug prevention education to youth in their community.

Public Information Officers provide information about DEA to the media and general public as required by law according to the standards of their profession.

Administrator Anne Milgram

Anne Milgram was sworn in as DEA Administrator on June 28, 2021, after being confirmed by the United States Senate by unanimous consent on June 24, 2021. As Administrator, she leads an agency of more than 10,000 public servants—including nearly 5,000 Special Agents and 800 Intelligence Analysts—who work in 239 offices across the United States and 93 foreign offices located in 69 countries.  

Prior to assuming her duties at the DEA, Milgram served as New Jersey’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2010. In that role, Milgram was New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, led the 9,000-person Department of Law & Public Safety, and had oversight responsibility for state and county prosecutors and more than 30,000 local law enforcement officers. During her tenure as Attorney General, Milgram also oversaw, and significantly reformed, the Camden Police Department, which today is viewed as a model for effective, data-driven policing. Most recently, she served as a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law where she developed programs to reform the criminal justice system through data, analytics, and technology.

Milgram began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She then served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where she was the Special Litigation Counsel for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes. Milgram was awarded the Department of Justice Commendation for Outstanding Service and the Department of Justice Director’s Award for her work.

After graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University, Milgram received a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from New York University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson of the District Court for the District of New Jersey.  


 

Image

Anne Milgram

Image

George Papadopoulos

Principal Deputy Administrator George S. Papdopoulos

George S. Papadopoulos was appointed as DEA Principal Deputy Administrator, effective July 4, 2023.  Papadopoulos serves as the principal assistant to the DEA Administrator and leads an agency of nearly 10,000 public servants who work in DEA’s 334 offices across the globe. 

Papadopoulos most recently served as the agency’s Acting Chief of Operations and previously served as the agency’s Deputy Chief of Operations. In these capacities, he oversaw all operational and enforcement matters for DEA and, before that, was the primary advisor to the DEA’s Chief of Operations on all international issues.

Papadopoulos began his career with DEA in 1996 as a Special Agent in the Detroit Field Division. In 2004, he deployed to Greece where he was responsible for DEA activities and investigations throughout Greece, Northern Macedonia, and Romania. Upon his return to the United States, Papadopoulos was assigned to DEA’s Special Operations Bilateral Investigations Unit (BIU). There he focused on international drug trafficking organizations operating throughout the Western Hemisphere and later coordinated multi-national and multi-jurisdictional operations throughout Mexico and Central America.  He served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the BIU from 2015 to 2021.

Papadopoulos is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. 


 

Dawn Mathis, Public Affairs Specialist, Houston Field Division

I began my career 24 years ago as a Diversion Investigator in Houston, Texas. As a Public Affairs Specialist (Demand Reduction Coordinator), I am required to educate the public as to the current drug trends and the dangers of drug abuse within our communities. I also host the Annual Community Awareness Conference, Prescription Drug Abuse Conference on College Campuses, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Red Ribbon Rally, Candlelight Vigil and Community Stars Program.

After speaking to thousands of parents across the State of Texas for the past 15 years, I’ve observed that all parents are troubled by the possibility of drugs threatening their families. From my experience I’ve also learned that parents are eager to be educated and informed of the current drugs of abuse that are relative to their demographics. During my presentations I’m often approached for advice on how to prevent children from using drugs.

Here are a few tips I’ve gathered along the way.

  • Know their friends.
  • Know where they are at all times, and don’t be afraid to check your child’s room, cell phone or belongings.
  • Have dinner with your kids.
  • Be vigilant in keeping their kids away from drugs.
  • Set their standards high and refuse to reflect and share with their kids their past drug use.
  • Do not waiver in your expectations of your kids. If you accept drug use, they will have no problem living up to those expectations.

DEA Career Profile Series

Image

Dawn Matthis
Ryan

Tackling Cyber Crime With DEA's Special Ops

Hear from Assistant Special-Agent-in-Charge Ryan.

Ciara

Classrooms to Conferences: Connecting the Community to Fight Drug Misuse

Introducing Community Outreach Specialist Ciara.

Thomas

Getting the ‘Friday Scaries’ as a Strategic Analyst

Learn about Strategic Intelligence Analyst Thomas.

Joe

Inside the World of Chemistry, Calculations, and Clandestine Labs

A day in the life of Senior Research Chemist Joe.

Laura

Phone Forensics: Diving Into Digital Evidence

Introducing Senior Examiner Laura.

El Chapo

From Teaching English to Helping Capture El Chapo

Learn about Field Intelligence Manager Jen.

Minh

Meth Hidden in a Gas Tank? Helping DEA as a Chemist

Hear from Forensic Chemist Minh.

Joey

Fighting the Jalisco Cartel as an Intelligence Analyst

A day in the life of Intelligence Analyst Joey.

Special agent undercover at a rave

From Searching Tunnels to Undercover at a Rave…

Hear from an agent who has worked out of both DEA's Tijuana, Mexico office, as well as Headquarters.

Special Agent Dave

Meet Special Agent Dave

Say hello to Special Agent Dave.