William J.C. Matthews

Senior Managing Director
Bill Matthews in a suit and glasses is smiling for a professional photograph

William J.C. Matthews is a proven leader and strategist with 24 years of experience in complex investigations, international operations, security/personnel recovery, and training with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Throughout his DEA career—which started as a Special Agent and advanced to senior executive roles—he designed innovative programs and steered high-risk investigations. Working strategically and collaboratively, he targeted multi-tiered crime networks, notable transnational criminals, and corrupt foreign officials as well as white-collar offenders involved in the diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances. His domestic and international efforts played an integral role in mitigating risk and protecting people, assets, and reputations.

For nearly two decades, Mr. Matthews served in investigative and leadership roles in support of the DEA’s global Special Operations Division. Operating throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central America, and Europe, he and his teams spearheaded some of the Justice Department’s most sensitive and significant criminal investigations and related trainings. From this critical vantage point, he shaped strategy and coordinated investigations into drug trafficking and the diversion of legally produced controlled substances, and his work ultimately led to the constructing of highly sought-after training programs.

In his last assignment with the DEA, Mr. Matthews directed the International Training Program in Quantico, VA. During his tenure, he led six International Training Units in conducting nearly 100 courses every year, educating approximately 500 domestic and 2,500 foreign students from 89 countries. These wide-reaching, state-of-the art intensives enabled agents and counterparts to minimize risk and better combat threats. At the same time, the courses provided opportunities for participants to create and expand law enforcement coalitions around the world.

Prior to leading DEA’s International Program, Mr. Matthews was the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Diversion, Intelligence & Personnel Recovery at the Office of Training. A fierce advocate for education and instruction, he took the reins and successfully established three pivotal programs from the ground up.

The first of these programs, the Diversion Specialized Training Unit, provided actionable training for both prosecutors and DEA personnel on pharmaceutical investigations (specifically responding to the opioid crisis). The Personnel Recovery Training Program prepared trainees for man-made and natural disasters. It also protected DEA personnel and assets from becoming isolated or detained by terrorist/criminal elements overseas. The Personnel Recovery Compliance Unit—the third start-up by Mr. Matthews—ensured global initiatives were rolled out according to plan.

While serving at Quantico, Mr. Matthews also guided the Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST) personnel recovery team in executing training for worldwide counternarcotics operations. He defined policies and procedures, organized programming, and assembled a group of exceptionally capable individuals ready for short-notice deployments around the world. A seasoned instructor himself, Mr. Matthews has delivered innovative, engaging courses and train-the-trainer programs in North America, South America, and Europe, and managed virtual trainings for multilingual audiences on six continents.

Before overseeing the DEA Training Academy, he served as Interim Executive of the Dallas Field Division’s Bilateral Investigations Unit (BIU), Technical Operations Group, and the Tactical Diversion Squad. Mr. Matthews led investigations with international impact, resulting in numerous federal criminal convictions and civil fines for violations of the Controlled Substances Act.

As Resident Agent in Charge of the São Paulo Office, Mr. Matthews represented eight Brazilian states (including Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo) on behalf of the DEA. In this leadership role, he leveraged his working knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese to foster international relationships and build alliances between Brazilian officials and the US Departments of State and Justice. He worked closely with counterparts to address special circumstances, such as security concerns surrounding the Olympics and World Cup.

Mr. Matthews served in earlier positions with the DEA as a Special Agent and Investigator in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. There he drove priority domestic and multinational investigations and partnered with both colleagues and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to produce a series of prosecutable cases.

Mr. Matthews is an expert and recognized speaker on a broad range of topics including transnational operations, controlled substance investigations, white-collar crime, and electronic surveillance. His efforts throughout his career have improved investigative outcomes and safeguarded agents while bolstering security and compliance for 1.7M DEA registrants.

A military veteran, he is a strategic leader, respected trainer, and loyal partner to clients, colleagues, and peers.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus


  • Licensed Private Investigator, TX
  • Licensed Private Investigator, VA; authority to conduct investigations in NC, GA, FL, OK + TX


  • Master of Public Administration, Marywood University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of Texas at San Antonio


  • Top Secret Clearance
  • Leadership, Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business
  • Harvard Business School Online, Certificate in Negotiation Mastery
  • FEMA National Incident Management Systems Qualified
  • Armored Vehicle, Advanced Driving, 4×4, and Driver’s Improvement Instructor
  • Foreign Affairs Counter Threat and Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response System Instructor


  • National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI)
  • Former Board Member, Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Board
  • Former Interim Director, International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA)
  • California Narcotics Officer Association (CNOA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  • ASIS International
  • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)

Media + Events

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October 24, 2023

NADDI 2023 34th Annual Conference

NADDI 2023 34th Annual Conference

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February 28, 2023

Guidepost Solutions Expands DEA Regulatory Compliance Practice

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