Biden Picks Anne Milgram, Former NJ Attorney General, to Lead DEA

President Biden on Monday nominated Anne Milgram, a former New Jersey attorney general, to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Justice Department’s lead agency for investigating drug trafficking and manufacturing.

The D.E.A. has not had a politically appointed leader since the Obama administration.

Ms. Milgram served as attorney general under Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, from 2007 to 2010 and built her reputation on fighting crime in the city of Camden. She also served as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a federal prosecutor. In her new role, Ms. Milgram would be tasked with confronting the country’s opioid crisis.

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, responded to the announcement on Twitter, saying Ms. Milgram “will work diligently to fight drug trafficking and keep dangerous substances like fentanyl off our streets.”

In her role as New Jersey’s attorney general, Ms. Milgram relied on data science and analytics to transform policing and reduce violent crime in Camden.

Ms. Milgram said in a June 2018 interview on “TED Radio Hour”: “Without data and without information, a system that’s run really subjectively based on our gut and our instinct, we don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know whether we’re doing it well. And we don’t know whether or not we can do it better.”

Her nomination comes as more states across the country are moving to ease marijuana laws. The Biden administration has been less proactive about marijuana reform. While the president has never endorsed full legalization, his plans for criminal justice reform include decriminalizing recreational use, which he trumpeted on the campaign trail.

Ms. Milgram currently works as a law professor at New York University and a lawyer in private practice.