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Press Release

Attorney General Sessions Announces Robert Patterson as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Jeff B. Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced the designation of Robert W. Patterson as the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Patterson took charge upon the departure of former Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.


“The DEA plays a vital role in combatting the drug crisis facing this country.  Robert Patterson is currently the highest ranking career special agent at DEA, where he has ably served for almost 30 years,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.  “I have the highest confidence that Acting Administrator Patterson will continue the important mission of the DEA in stemming the tide of the opioid crisis.”


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added, “Ending the unprecedented rise in deaths from drug overdoses is one of the Department of Justice’s highest priorities.  I thank Acting Administrator Patterson for taking the helm of the DEA at this critical time.” 


Patterson joined the DEA in 1988, starting in the DEA’s New York Division.  In that role, he was part of a special program established to combat the growing opioid epidemic and associated violence in the greater New York area. 


Since joining the agency, Patterson has served in a number of high-ranking leadership positions within the DEA.  Patterson was an acting special agent in charge of the DEA Special Operations Division, where he oversaw classified programs and communication exploitation tools.  In November 2015, Patterson was named as DEA’s chief inspector, where he had oversight over the agency’s Office of Inspections, Office of Security Programs, and Office of Professional Responsibility.  In November 2016, Patterson was appointed the DEA’s principal deputy administrator.  In that role, he served as DEA’s chief operating officer, overseeing all of the agency’s enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory activities worldwide.

Updated December 11, 2017

Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 17-1115