Robert J Bell

Senior Managing Director
Robert Bell in a suit and tie in front of a gray background

Robert J. Bell is a former senior executive with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with over 30 years of experience in federal, state and local law enforcement, investigations, compliance and security.  He is an expert in conducting complex investigations, and developing compliance programs involving controlled pharmaceuticals, prescription drug diversion, fentanyl and other substances.  He directs complex, sensitive investigations that help solve problems, resolve disputes, mitigate risk, eradicate threats, and ensure full regulatory compliance.

Whether he is building a new program from the ground up or executing a high-stakes investigation, Mr. Bell balances big-picture vision with a hands-on approach. His efforts yield tangible results with less risk and greater resiliency.

Most recently, he served as Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago division, where he led a staff of about 600 Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Intelligence Analysts, Task Force Officers, Business Operations Staff and Contractors in 11 offices across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

He oversaw investigations into transnational organizations involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, and violence. He also led investigations and compliance programs relating to the diversion of legally produced controlled substance pharmaceuticals.

During his tenure at the Chicago division, Mr. Bell expanded the drug diversion control program, created new anti-violence task forces, cybercrime and intelligence groups, and modernized the business operations section, up-leveling productivity and investigative outcomes across the division.  He also played an integral role in achieving broad-class control of fentanyl-related substances by testifying before a state Senate committee and contributing to first-of-its-kind legislation.

Before joining the Chicago division, Mr. Bell advanced the DEA mission and influenced operations in 69 countries from a unique vantage point at agency headquarters. As Executive Assistant in the Office of Operations Management, he optimized processes across budget, policy management, data and operational accountability, and asset forfeiture sections.

Earlier, as Staff Coordinator of the Diversion Control Division’s Synthetic Drugs and Chemicals Section, Mr. Bell conceived, developed, and executed a game-changing initiative addressing the threat of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) entering the US from East Asia. He secured funding, devised standards for substance collection and evaluation, and pushed past the finish line—achieving full legal control of synthetic designer drugs.

In this role, Mr. Bell stood at the forefront of the NPS drug threat. He represented the US at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) NPS Experts Meeting, and traveled worldwide to advise and train US and foreign law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, chemists and professional associations.

Prior to his work at DEA headquarters, he excelled as a Supervisory Special Agent in the Chicago division’s Milwaukee office, where he coached and mobilized teams while leading a multiagency task force to investigate, prosecute, and convict illicit networks operating in the US and internationally.

Mr. Bell started his DEA career in 1995 as a Special Agent in the Detroit division and built the foundation for his success as a Police Officer with the St. Charles Police Department for five years. During his tenure with the Department, he was appointed to an Illinois State Police Task Force as a Drug Investigator.

Did you know?

Bob has been active in the Drug Enforcement Administration Survivors Benefit Fund for many years. The DEA SBF ensures that DEA Employees who fall in the line of duty are properly memorialized, and that their surviving family members receive financial support.


  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Illinois State University
  • Post-graduate Program Studies in Public Administration, Northern Illinois University
  • DEA Public Information Officer Training School, Congressional and Public Affairs
  • FBI, National Executive Institute
  • University of Notre Dame, Senior Executive Service Leadership Development Program
  • Harvard University, Professional Development Programs in Collaborative Leadership and Advanced Negotiation Skills
  • Advanced Dignitary Protection for Law Enforcement


  • ASIS International
  • International Association of Police Chiefs
  • Association of Federal Narcotics Agents
  • Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association (Board Member)
  • Greater Cook County Council of Police Chiefs

Media + Events

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February 28, 2023

Guidepost Solutions Expands DEA Regulatory Compliance Practice

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