U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced his appointment of Timothy J. Shea as the new leader presiding over the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Effective today, Shea assumed the role as acting administrator for the 10,000-plus-member federal law enforcement agency investigating drug-related crimes as well as conducting dangerous operations involving violent drug cartels and their warlords.
In his press release, Attorney General Barr offered the following for both the incoming and the outgoing DEA administrators: “I am pleased to appoint Tim Shea as DEA Acting Administrator. A highly regarded public servant, Tim’s long career in both federal and state government and extensive experience in law enforcement well-equips him to lead the premier drug enforcement organization in the world. As this country continues to struggle with the evolving drug crisis, Tim’s commitment to combatting drug trafficking and violent crime will be instrumental in furthering the important work of DEA.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to Uttam Dhillon, who has served with dedication as DEA Acting Administrator since 2018. Throughout his tenure, Uttam has proven to be a great colleague and a dedicated and thoughtful leader. I look forward to working with him as he assumes a senior leadership role in the Department.”
Shea is no stranger to public service, having been born into “a family of five generations of firefighters.” However, he had his young sights on a career in law practice, graduating from Boston College after studying government and political science.
Conferred with a law degree and magna cum laude status in 1991 from the Georgetown University Law Center, Shea initially worked in private practice as an attorney litigating matters for an international law firm. After practicing in the private sector, Shea cut his teeth in government, initially working “as the Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where he managed several divisions staffed by attorneys and investigators.” His legal bio runs the gamut, from antitrust to telecommunications.
Shea’s ascension to the federal level saw him prosecuting “federal criminal cases” as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Thereafter, his career elevated again, having served as “Associate Deputy Attorney General from 1990 to 1992 and as Counselor to the Attorney General since 2019,” advising the U.S, attorney general on “law enforcement operations, criminal justice policy, and management issues affecting the Department. He spearheaded the Department’s Operation Relentless Pursuit, a crackdown targeting violent crime in seven U.S. cities.”
As is often the case in federal justice system circles, years of experience and varying levels of practice eventually evolves in a top cop spot. As of February of this year, newly-appointed Acting Administrator Shea previously “served as Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In that capacity, he led the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country—responsible for the prosecution of both federal and local crimes in the District of Columbia. He also served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.”
His next stop as Drug Enforcement Administration boss is to lead the agency in its domestic and foreign law enforcement investigations with responsibility of a $3-plus billion budget.
This piece was written by Stephen Owsinski on May 20, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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