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USF alumnus may be next drug czar

A USF graduate has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next drug czar, said an administration official Thursday.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Seattle’s police chief since 2000, graduated from the University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice.

If the Senate confirms Kerlikowske, he will be in charge of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is a component of the Executive Office of the President.

Ethan Nadelmann — executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit organization promoting alternative policies to the “war on drugs” — said to the New York Times that he would have preferred someone with more of a public health background.

“But, he’s likely to be the best drug czar we’ve seen,” Nadelmann said. “Not that that’s saying much.”