On January 9th, the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (W/B HIDTA) Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Jeff Beeson as its new executive director, following the retirement of its long-time executive director and visionary, Tom Carr. Beeson has decades of leadership and management experience, and has served as the W/B HIDTA’s first deputy director for many years.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia William Ihlenfeld II, who chairs the W/B HIDTA Executive Board, stated, “Jeff Beeson’s expertise and experience allow him to be ready on day one to lead the largest and most complex HIDTA in the nation. For the past eight years, Jeff has served with distinction as our top deputy director and chief of staff, and there is no one better to take the reins of an organization that plays such a vital role in the dismantling of drug trafficking organizations throughout the region, across the country, and around the world.”
Among many other responsibilities, as the W/B HIDTA’s first deputy director and chief of staff, Beeson provided management and oversight to the Combating Overdose Through Community-Level Intervention (COCLI) grant, oversaw the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network and the W/B HIDTA’s Overdose Response Strategy, and provided overall management of the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), working with treatment and prevention service providers, EMS, and public health agencies across the country. During his tenure at the W/B HIDTA, Beeson became intimately knowledgeable with the organization’s budget. He also has over 15 years of grant writing, management, and audit experience relating to public safety and criminal justice issues.
In addition to earning the respect and admiration of the W/B HIDTA’s management and staff, Beeson earned two very competitive National HIDTA Program awards from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)—the 2019 Outstanding Administrator Award, and the 2018 Mary Marshall Award for Outstanding HIDTA Staff Member Award.
Executive Director Beeson stated, “The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA has a proud tradition of success supporting the region’s law enforcement, treatment, and prevention initiatives. We have prioritized innovation and information sharing as the core of our work to reduce drug trafficking and misuse in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and West Virginia. I am committed to this mission, and will continue to work diligently with our executive board, managers, and staff to identify and procure necessary resources, and to implement strategic partnerships to save lives and create safer communities.”
Prior to joining the W/B HIDTA, Beeson served as assistant vice president for applied research at Towson University, overseeing a portfolio of state and federal grants and contracts supporting workforce and public safety agencies. He also worked as the deputy assistant secretary for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Registration, and served as the special assistant to the secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He began his career as a staffer to U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
In addition to serving as the treasurer of the National HIDTA Directors Association, Beeson works on numerous multi-HIDTA initiatives. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council, Virginia Overdose Prevention Resource Committee, and Central Virginia Overdose Working Group, among other organizations.