Susannah F. Herkert

Senior Managing Director

Susannah Herkert is a nationally recognized expert in the area of pharmaceutical controlled substance investigations and regulatory compliance. As a DEA compliance consultant, Ms. Herkert works with pharmacies and other DEA registrants that have been restricted by their suppliers in evaluating and enhancing their controlled substance polices and processes. As a managing director in Guidepost’s DEA Regulatory Compliance Practice, she has been involved in the following key engagements:

  • Expert witness in multiple judicial districts on diversion investigations, including “pill mill,” overdose investigations, and high-profile drug diversion cases to include investigations involving national sports teams.
  • Development and implementation of controlled substance compliance policies/procedures and trainings for a virtual manufacturer of controlled substances while serving as the Chief Compliance Officer.
  • The assessment, evaluation, and DEA regulatory gap analysis of multiple healthcare facilities, including the development of targeted training for DEA compliance and implementation of system-wide drug diversion programs.
  • Third-party auditor for a Narcotic Treatment Program and a healthcare facility under Memorandum of Agreements with DEA.
  • Litigation assistance and data analysis, including “red flag” reviews, for multiple practitioners, pharmacies, and a Narcotic Treatment Program.
  • Evaluation and development of controlled substance compliance policies and procedures for practitioners specializing in medication assisted treatment, long term care facilities, and retail independent pharmacies.
  • Development of standardized DEA inspection readiness protocols/templates for DEA registrants to include: hospital/clinics, practitioners, pharmacies, Narcotic Treatment Programs, and analytical labs.

Prior to Guidepost, she served with the Drug Enforcement Administration for more than 15 years.

She began her career with DEA in the Los Angeles Field Division where she was a Diversion Investigator on the Tactical Diversion Squad.  There, Ms. Herkert was the lead investigator on numerous criminal/civil diversion cases, including national impact cases. In 2010, she transferred to the Dallas Field Division where she was assigned to the Tactical Diversion Squad. She was the lead investigator on numerous cases resulting in the federal convictions and/or civil fines of physicians, pharmacists, and co-conspirators.

After her success in the field, Ms. Herkert was transferred to Quantico to “write the book” on how to train DEA personnel to successfully investigate violators of the Controlled Substance Act. She was the first Unit Chief for the Diversion Specialized Training Unit.  Ms. Herkert developed and instructed over a dozen courses ranging from Red Flags in Diversion Investigations to Corresponding Responsibility to Charging Corporations. She instructed DEA personnel and prosecutors in numerous federal judicial districts on all phases of the investigations from identifying targets to acquiring evidence to the successful prosecution. While at Quantico, she was also the Acting Unit Chief for the Diversion Training Unit, which trained all incoming DEA Diversion Investigators during a 12-week in-service accredited program.

Ms. Herkert has testified in federal court on diversion related matters, including providing expert testimony in federal judicial districts throughout the United States on diversion investigations. Her investigative techniques have been adopted by DEA Diversion Investigators throughout the United States and her expertise in diversion investigations is recognized by prosecutors nationwide.

Prior to joining the DEA, Ms. Herkert served as an adjunct professor of Aviation and Space for the undergraduate and graduate programs in connection with NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project at Oklahoma State University.  In addition to her expert testimony on drug diversion investigations, Ms. Herkert has also testified in federal court on aviation regulations.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Agent of the Year award received from the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in California and Texas. She received over a dozen performance awards from the DEA and was named the Dallas Field Division Diversion Investigator of the Year in 2015.

Ms. Herkert is a sought-out speaker and instructor on pharmaceutical drug trends and investigations, frequently speaking at national conferences throughout the United States.

Related Training:

  • Basic Diversion Investigator Training at Quantico, Virginia
  • California Narcotics Officers Association Conferences
  • National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Conferences
  • Advanced Diversion Investigator Training (2012 & 2018)
  • Instructor Development Course Certification
  • Advanced Science Based Interview and Interrogation Course

Did you know?

Susannah is a licensed pilot and an expert on the life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart.


  • Master of Science, Natural and Applied Sciences, Aviation and Space Science, Oklahoma State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma

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