Former DEA & DOJ Official and Former Drug Czar Launch Michael Best Consulting’s D.C. Practice


Top federal officials will expand their roles at the firm to spearhead consultancy specializing in health care, nonprofit, and private sector clients.

Michael Best Consulting LLC announced today that James (Jim) Carroll and Uttam Dhillon have launched its D.C. consulting arm, bringing decades of experience as senior officials in the federal government to a practice that will specialize in business advice, regulatory counseling, marketing strategy, government affairs and communications services across various areas including health care, pharmaceuticals, nonprofit guidance, and private sector business strategy.  Carroll and Dhillon will continue in their Partner roles heading Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s Regulatory Defense, Compliance & White Collar practice in addition to their expanded duties leading Michael Best Consulting in Washington, D.C.

“Jim and Uttam add to Michael Best’s rapidly growing presence in our nation’s capital and across the country,” said David Crass, Managing Partner of the Washington D.C. office. “Our clients put a premium on service, experience and trust — traits unmatched in Jim and Uttam. Their deep knowledge of government and strong relationships with state, local, and federal officials as well as leading private sector initiatives will allow Michael Best Consulting to provide our clients with unparalleled insights and opportunities in an increasingly complex policy landscape.”

From January 2018 to January 2021, Carroll served as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a position also known as the Nation’s “Drug Czar.” He oversaw an annual budget of $35 billion, successfully coordinating and monitoring the activities of 16 federal government agency budgets and funding. Under his leadership, the United States saw its first annual decrease in overdose deaths for the first time in nearly 30 years. Prior to ONDCP, Carroll served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for the Office of Management and Budget. He previously served as Washington Counsel and for many years as the Global Director of Compliance for Ford Motor Company. During the George W. Bush Administration, he served as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President, Deputy General Counsel and Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Treasury, and as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

“From for-profit to nonprofit, any entity seeking to develop could benefit from the expert advice provided by Michael Best,” added Carroll. “I’m eager to continue working with Uttam to establish the Michael Best Consulting office in Washington, D.C., where our strategic counsel will help businesses and organizations navigate government bureaucracy, garner media attention, and bolster their bottom line.” In 2020, Dhillon was named the 15th Director of INTERPOL Washington, serving as the official U.S. representative to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the world’s largest police organization. From 2018 to 2020, he served as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), spearheading the DEA’s national and global enforcement, intelligence, and administrative activities while managing an annual budget of $3.2 billion and a workforce of more than 15,000. Dhillon has held other high-profile positions, including Deputy White House Counsel, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director of the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, and an Associate Deputy Attorney General. In addition, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, where he prosecuted major narcotics cases from 1990 to 1997. In this position, he worked with federal and local law enforcement agencies directing complex investigations of violent gangs and major narcotics trafficking organizations as a member of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and argued multiple appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Dhillon also has significant congressional experience as Chief Oversight Counsel for the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

“The time is right to launch Michael Best Consulting in Washington, D.C. — and I’m humbled that Jim and I are leading the way,” said Dhillon. “We are both eager to apply our government relationships, experience, and policy acumen to help Michael Best’s clients achieve their goals.”

Carroll earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and his J. D. from George Mason University. Dhillon earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University – Sacramento, his Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of California – San Diego, and his J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley.

About Michael Best Consulting LLC®
Michael Best Consulting is a forward-thinking consulting firm that uses an integrated services approach to meet our clients’ varied needs. The firm’s services include Consulting (government affairs, regulatory advice, marketing strategy, PR) and Best Workplace Solutions (HR strategies, training, workplace safety). For more information, visit michaelbestconsulting.com.

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