The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Names: House staffer moves to State’s ‘drugs and thugs’ bureau

Todd Levett is the latest congressional staffer to take up a post in the Obama administration, accepting an appointment as special assistant for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).  Levett spent the past four years working for Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security. As a ...

Todd Levett is the latest congressional staffer to take up a post in the Obama administration, accepting an appointment as special assistant for the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). 

Levett spent the past four years working for Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security. As a senior advisor there, he "managed a number of policy oversight portfolios including the Secret Service and protective security issues ranging from continuity of government operations to national special security events, interagency coordination and engagements between DHS and the Defense Department, and international security affairs and antiterrorism programs," a committee spokesman told The Cable.

Now he joins the INL bureau, known as "drugs and thugs" because they deal with international narcotics control strategy and law enforcement development in conflict and post-conflict countries. There he will work for INL Assistant Secretary Amb. David Johnson on policy coordination and legislative engagement.

Todd Levett is the latest congressional staffer to take up a post in the Obama administration, accepting an appointment as special assistant for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). 

Levett spent the past four years working for Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security. As a senior advisor there, he "managed a number of policy oversight portfolios including the Secret Service and protective security issues ranging from continuity of government operations to national special security events, interagency coordination and engagements between DHS and the Defense Department, and international security affairs and antiterrorism programs," a committee spokesman told The Cable.

Now he joins the INL bureau, known as "drugs and thugs" because they deal with international narcotics control strategy and law enforcement development in conflict and post-conflict countries. There he will work for INL Assistant Secretary Amb. David Johnson on policy coordination and legislative engagement.

Levett previously worked as an aide to House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt, in the front office of the U.S. Embassy in London, and with the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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