Mr. Michael Braun serves on the Board of Advisors of the Center on Economic and Financial Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Mr. Braun joined SAVA Workforce Solutions as the Company’s President in 2016 after selling his ownership of a company he co-founded in late 2008 and where he served as a Managing Partner for eight years. SAVA Workforce Solutions, part of the Akima family of companies, provides contract support in myriad areas to the U.S. government’s Justice, Defense and Intelligence sectors.
Mr. Braun retired from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Chief of Operations, Assistant Administrator (SES-6) in late 2008 after serving 33 years in law enforcement. As Chief of Operations he had operational oversight for the DEA’s 227 domestic and 87 foreign offices, as well as its Aviation Division, Office of Financial Operations, Special Operations Division and Office of Diversion Control. Mr. Braun was the architect of the DEA’s significant expansion in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2008 and for the development of the agency’s Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Teams (FAST), as well as other programs that targeted the confluence of drugs and terrorism. Mr. Braun became widely recognized during this era as an authority on the growing drugs/terrorism nexus, and for focusing the Agency’s efforts on the Global War on Terrorism.
Mr. Braun forged strong relations with the Departments of Defense and State, and provided clear vision on narco-terrorism to Combatant, Unified and Specified Commanders and senior policy makers, and the important role that the DEA plays in supporting the US government’s counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare strategies. Mr. Braun volunteered for a detailed assignment to the Department of Defense (DOD) during the summer of 2003 where served as the Chief of Staff for the Interim Ministry of the Interior, Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Other SES assignments included Acting Chief of Intelligence, Deputy Chief of Intelligence for the Office of Special Intelligence, and Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division, as well as being named by the Attorney General as the first SES Director of the multi-agency Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Intelligence Fusion Center, which supports US counterterrorism and counter-narcotics operations and strategies.
Prior to his executive leadership, Mr. Braun had extensive law enforcement experience in Latin America leading specially trained and equipped teams of DEA Special Agents, host-nation law enforcement officers and US military Special Forces on counter-narcotics operations in support of US foreign policy directed at destabilizing the Medellin and Cali cartels’ manufacturing and transshipment infrastructures. He served in a number of interagency domestic assignments that included postings in the Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit and St. Louis Field Division Offices where he led local and state law enforcement task forces, including HIDTA task forces, and in multiple assignments during three tours at DEA Headquarters in Washington, DC that included a two-year assignment as the Executive Assistant to the Administrator. Mr. Braun served with DEA on the Northern and Southern Borders, the East and West Coasts, and in the Midwest.
Mr. Braun continues to be called upon by Congress to testify on narco-terrorism, terrorism, illicit finance, transnational organized crime and other national security topics, regularly appears on national and international network and cable television and is frequently quoted by major U.S. and international print media on matters related to international security.
Mr. Braun enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971 where he served as an infantryman until 1973, including service in the Republic of Vietnam. He served with the Cape Girardeau Missouri Police Department for four years while he worked his way through college and served with the Illinois State Police as a criminal investigator for almost seven years before joining the DEA. Mr. Braun graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1977 with a BS degree in Criminal Justice and completed the Harvard University’s Senior Managers in Government program, the FBI National Executive Institute, the DEA Senior Executive Leadership Studies program and several OPM and military management and leadership courses. Mr. Braun received numerous awards and commendations during his career, including the SES Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, the SES Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Director of National Drug Control Policy Award for Meritorious Achievement.