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Karen Tandy -- Department of Justice
Administrator of Drug Enforcement

On July 31, 2003, Karen P. Tandy was confirmed by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), following her nomination by President George W. Bush. Prior to becoming DEA Administrator, Ms. Tandy was Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). In her capacity as Associate Deputy Attorney General, she was responsible for oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Drug Intelligence Center, as well as responsible for developing national drug enforcement policy and strategies. The roughly $500 million OCDETF program, which Ms. Tandy managed from January 2001 through July 2003, spanned three U.S. Departments and included more than 2,200 federal agents, 500 federal prosecutors, and various state and local law enforcement task forces around the country. Under Ms. Tandy's leadership, OCDETF refocused its efforts towards dismantling major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. During her tenure at OCDETF, financial investigations increased from 16 percent to 59 percent; deposits to the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund increased by 33 percent; criminal charges against leadership-level defendants increased by 10 percent; and multi-jurisdiction cases increased from nine percent to 84 percent of the OCDETF investigations. In addition, the OCDETF program received a funding enhancement for the first time in 10 years. Between 1990 and 1999, Ms. Tandy served in a variety of positions in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, supervising the Department's drug and forfeiture litigation. She represented the Department of Justice before Congress in the successful effort to reform civil forfeiture law. As the first Chief of the Litigation Unit in the Asset Forfeiture Office, Ms. Tandy developed the Justice Department's expedited settlement policy to reduce unnecessary litigation for mortgage holders of forfeitable property. She also authored a criminal forfeiture practice handbook relied on by federal prosecutors throughout the country. As Deputy Chief of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section, she supervised the Department's narcotic prosecutions nationwide. As the first Deputy Chief at the Special Operations Division, she had responsibility for implementing the nationwide coordination of drug wiretap investigations among federal prosecutors. From 1979 to 1990, Ms. Tandy was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and in the Western District of Washington, handling the prosecution of violent crime and complex drug, money laundering and forfeiture cases. During her almost 10 years in the Eastern District of Virginia, Ms. Tandy was named Senior Litigation Counsel and served as Chief of the Narcotics Section and Lead OCDETF Attorney. One of Ms. Tandy's OCDETF prosecutions led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision that attorneys' fees are subject to forfeiture notwithstanding the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel. During 1988 to 1990, Ms. Tandy was Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit in the United States Attorney's Office in the Western District of Washington. She has lectured extensively on forfeiture law and practice, conducted international training, and developed a forfeiture teaching model for the American Bar Association. Prior to joining the Justice Department, she clerked for the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas. Among her awards and commendations, Ms. Tandy has received the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, the Department of Justice Award for Extraordinary Achievement, and the United States Attorney Director's Award for Superior Service. Ms. Tandy, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a graduate of Texas Tech University and a 1977 graduate of the Texas Tech Law School. She is married with two daughters.

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