Edward Jurith

Edward Jurith (September 11, 1951 – November 9, 2013) served as Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from January 10, 2001 to December 7, 2001.[1] He was appointed for this term by President Clinton in 2001, and was then appointed to be the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy again in 2009 by President Obama. Since 1994, he also served as ONDCP's General Counsel, Senior Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs.[2]

Ed Jurith
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
In office
January 20, 2009 – May 7, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJohn Walters
Succeeded byGil Kerlikowske
In office
January 20, 2001 – December 7, 2001
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byBarry McCaffrey
Succeeded byJohn Walters
Personal details
Born(1951-09-11)September 11, 1951
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 9, 2013(2013-11-09) (aged 62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationAmerican University (BA)
Brooklyn Law School (JD)


Jurith was born in Brooklyn. He attended Bishop Loughlin High School in New York City, and graduated with honors from American University in 1973, and then received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1976. He joined Lyon & Erlbaum in Kew Gardens as an appellate trial attorney.[3]

Career in governmentEdit

His first government post was counsel for Congressman Leo Zeferreti, chairman of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, in 1982. According to the Daily News, "Studies his office initiated on narcotics enforcement, such as bail reform and mandatory sentencing, resulted in reams of legislation, including the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, one of the bedrocks of our national drug policy."[1] He was named staff director of that agency in 1987, joining the drug control policy office as director of legislative affairs in 1993. The Washington Post in 1993 called him "a widely respected drug expert."[4] He was instrumental in developing the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988.[2]

He subsequently became General Counsel to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[5]


In 2010, he became an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law. He taught a seminar about the intersection of law and drug policy. From the first year that he taught to the second, his enrollment increased from seven students to capacity with a waiting list.[2]


He died of cancer in his home in North-West Washington[6] on November 9, 2013.[3] Mr. Jurith is survived by his wife, Kathleen Healy, and his sons Theodore and William.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Lawyer's Addiction:Work. Acting Drug Policy Chief pushes rehab over imprisionment. New York Daily News, Monday, February 12th 2001, link[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d "Remembering our colleague, Ed Jurith". White House.gov. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Edward Jurith". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  4. ^ Michael Isikoff, "Drug Office Urged to Hire Hill Aides; Memo Asked Director to `Do Something' for Congressman Rangel" The Washington Post Aug 19, 1993, t Page: A.27 abstract
  5. ^ Washington Post
  6. ^ "EDWARD HOWARD JURITH". Legacy Washington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Barry McCaffrey
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Succeeded by
John Walters
Preceded by
John Walters
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Succeeded by
Gil Kerlikowske