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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

  • Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, Department of Agriculture
  • Michele M. Leonhart, Administrator of Drug Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice

President Obama said, “The skill and dedication of these individuals will make them valued additions to my administration, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

President Obama announced today his intent to nominate the following individuals:

Elisabeth Hagen, Nominee for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, Department of Agriculture
Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is currently the USDA’s Chief Medical Officer, serving as an advisor to USDA mission areas on a wide range of human health issues.  Prior to her current post, she was a senior executive in the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), where she played a key role in developing and executing the agency’s scientific and public health agendas.  She has been instrumental in building relationships and fostering coordination with food safety and public health partners at the federal, state, and local level.  Before joining the federal government in 2006, Hagen taught and practiced medicine in both the private and academic sectors, most recently in Washington, DC.  She holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a B.S. from Saint Joseph’s University.  Dr. Hagen completed her specialty medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Pennsylvania, and is board certified in infectious disease.

Michele M. Leonhart, Nominee for Administrator of Drug Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice
Michele M. Leonhart has nearly 30 years of experience as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.  She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve as DEA Deputy Administrator and became the Acting Administrator in 2007.  Throughout her career at the Department of Justice, Special Agent Leonhart has served in senior management roles in DEA headquarters as well as Field Divisions across the United States.  She was the agency’s first female Special Agent in Charge (“SAC”) and later became the SAC for the DEA Los Angeles Field Division, which is its third largest Field Division.  She first joined the DEA in 1980 as a Special Agent in Minneapolis and St. Louis until promoted to DEA's supervisory ranks in San Diego in 1988.  She was previously a police officer with the Baltimore Police Department.  Special Agent Leonhart was awarded the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee Award in 2005, the Presidential Award for Meritorious Service in 2005 and 2000, the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive in 2004, and the DEA Administrator’s Award in 1993.  She received her B.S. in Criminal Justice from Bemidji State University in 1978.