Michael Braun retired from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2008 as DEA Chief of Operations. In this role, Special Agent Braun was responsible for leading the worldwide drug enforcement operations of the Agency’s 227 domestic and 86 foreign offices, as well as the Special Operations Division, the Aviation Division, the Office of Financial Operations, the Office of Operational Support and the Office of Diversion Control. He was appointed to this position in February 2005 and was the longest-serving principal advisor to the DEA Administrator on all enforcement-related matters. During his tenure, Mr. Braun became widely recognized as an expert on the growing nexus between drugs and terrorism, and for focusing the agency’s efforts on the Global War on Terrorism. He forged strong relations with the Department of Defense (DoD) and provided a clear vision to Combatant, Unified and Specified Commanders on the important role that the DEA plays in supporting DoD’s counter-insurgency and irregular warfare doctrine.
After leaving the DEA, Mr. Braun co-founded Spectre Group International, an organization focused on supporting counter-narcotics, law enforcement, and intelligence operations around the world. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Braun headed the multi-agency Office of Special Intelligence and later led the entire Intelligence Division. He was also appointed by the Deputy Attorney General to serve as the first Interim Director of a new Department of Justice (DoJ) Drug Intelligence Fusion Center supporting the war on terrorism and drugs. In 2001, Mr. Braun was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and assigned as the Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) of the Detroit Division, where he oversaw all of the DEA’s operations and programs in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Shortly after Coalition Forces invaded Iraq in June 2003, Mr. Braun was detailed to DoD to serve on special assignment in Iraq as the Chief of Staff for the Interim Ministry of Interior, Coalition Provisional Authority. He assisted in creating the new Iraqi National Police Service and Customs and Border agencies, as well as developing plans to rebuild the public safety segment of the Iraqi security infrastructure.
Mr. Braun began his DEA career in 1985 when he served as a Special Agent in the St. Louis Field Office. From 1991 until 2001, Mr. Braun rose steadily through the ranks of the agency and served in several key roles. In Latin America, he led specially trained and equipped host nation counterparts and DEA Special Agents on paramilitary drug enforcement operations in the jungles of South and Central America in support of U.S. foreign drug policy. In the Houston and Los Angeles divisions, his teams targeted some of the world’s most notorious drug-trafficking cartels and gangs.