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Trump Picks White House Deputy Chief of Staff as the Next ‘Drug Czar’

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Connecting state and local government leaders

But Jim Carroll has no prior public health experience.

President Trump has tapped Jim Carroll, a White House deputy chief of staff and attorney with no public health experience, as the next head of Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In taking up the “drug czar” mantle, Carroll would become the public face of the administration’s response to the opioid epidemic—a response that has thus far left local officials a bit underwhelmed.

Notably, Carroll's experience stands as a departure from the background of his predecessor, Michael Botticelli, who worked in public health at the state level in Massachusetts prior to joining the Obama administration.

"We have full confidence in Jim to lead ONDCP to make significant strides in combating the opioid crisis, reducing drug use and coordinating U.S. drug policy," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement late last week.

Before joining the Trump administration, Jim Carroll worked as a Washington, D.C.-based counsel to the Ford Motor Co. Carroll will serve as acting director of ONDCP while he awaits confirmation.

This is the White House’s second nomination for the position. The first nominee, U.S. Rep. Tom Marino from Pennsylvania withdrew from consideration after a report surfaced that showed the role he played in legislation that helped pharmaceutical companies distribute prescription opioids across the country.

Quinn Libson is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.  

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