Back to Job Board

Pharmacologist, Arlington, VA US ID#16234

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.  

Within the DEA is the Operations Division (OC), which establishes and articulates policy for all DEA operational areas. Within OC is the Diversion Control Division (DC), with the mission to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs. Due to the increase in the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, the DEA has a need for the knowledge, skills, and experience of highly qualified scientific professionals.

Job Description:

The Pharmacologist will assist the Diversion Control Division within the DEA in fulfilling its functional responsibilities, to include preventing, detecting, and deterring the diversion of licit controlled substances and listed chemicals while also ensuring an adequate supply of such substances for legitimate need. This position will also evaluate drugs and chemicals in order to determine whether these substances are being abused or potentially involved in illicit traffic.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Deliverables):

Includes the following (Other duties may be assigned):

  • Gathers, analyzes, and evaluates scientific and drug abuse data against current scientific standards to provide guidance to senior diversion control officials in the formulation of drug and chemical control recommendations under the CSA.
  • Prepares scientific articles and reports concerning the pharmacological action of potential controlled substance and/or the application of new technology for their control for publication in agency, government or scientific journals or for presentation at scientific meetings.  Recommends a scientifically defensible position and presents and defends this DEA position.
  • As a technical authority in a specialized area of pharmacology, performs critical reviews of scientific or technical procedures, investigations, and/or inspections for policy implications and impact on overall regulatory activities and resource allocation priorities, in areas that require extensive interpretation.  Recommends attendant policy changes, or develops important public programs.
  • Serves as a technical authority, providing scientific advice to professionals within and outside the agency on uniquely demanding and challenging scientific and/or technical issues.
  • Provides expert policy and procedural advice and guidance to DEA scientists and management on complex regulatory and compliance issues in an area of specialization.
  • Processes research, evaluation, and reporting requests in accordance with established guidelines.
  • Serves as a senior scientist and technical expert in implementing and evaluating complex and innovative scientific projects.
  • Serves as a source of information for other scientists and program specialists and performed a key role in resolving issues that significantly affected scientific programs.
  • Reviews, advised on, and conducted complex analysis and studies in support of major organization programs, including areas where technical issues and/or data were controversial, or uncertain.

Supervisory/Management Authority:

This position does not have mgmt. authority or supervisory capacity.

Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacology or a related scientific field of study.
  • Previous employment with the DEA is preferred.
  • The demonstration of the ability to gather, analyze and evaluate extremely complex scientific and drug related data against current scientific standards;
  • The preparation of comprehensive technical reports which demonstrate the ability to collect and disseminate extremely complex controversial scientific issues relating to the control of drugs and chemicals;
  • Service as committee or working group chairperson that recommends scientifically defensible positions regarding complex chemistry issues;
  • The utilization of scientific expertise in preparation of office positions;
  • Evaluation of existing scientific data sources as to their adequacy in independently formulating office positions on complex issues;
  • Advanced expertise of new and current organic chemistry techniques and  synthesis methods;
  •  Experience demonstrating service as liaison with high level scientists and drug and chemical control officials on a national and international level;
  • The independent preparation of written reports and studies on highly complex issues;
  • Conduct of scientific briefings and presentations on a national and international level to industry, the scientific community or other government agencies.
  • Expertise in federal laws, international treaties, guidelines and regulations pertaining to the control of drugs that demonstrates knowledge of CSA;
  • Work illustrating service as a senior chemist in a specialty and interdisciplinary area that includes drug and chemicals which are subject to the CSA;
  • Expertise in the review of scientific literature and other data sources regarding the legitimate use, production, and potential illicit use of chemicals;
  • Publication of scientific papers in peer reviewed journals;
  • Prior experience in the regulation of drugs of abuse and/or chemicals used in illicit drug synthesis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Proficient in research techniques with respect to available DEA databases
  • Proficient at using Windows based desktop computers and MS Professional Suite of applications, specifically, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and SharePoint.
  • U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident status required
  • Ability to successfully pass a drug screening test and federal background check


Work Environment:

This position is primarily performed in a controlled office environment.

With $400 million in annual revenue, 20% growth per year, approximately 950+ active contracts serving 60+ government agencies in 25 countries, 47 states, 2 territories and 2000+ employees, Cherokee Nation Businesses’ (CNB) group of Federal Contracting Section 8(a) companies is well positioned to deliver expertise needed to solve complex technical issues. Federal Solutions provides an array of services for 12 of the 15 cabinet-level departments and agencies – from applications and data services to cybersecurity and national defense.

Why consider Cherokee Nation and our Federal Solutions business? Here are some great resources highlighting what we do and compelling reasons for joining our team!

Applicants selected may be subject to a U.S. Government security investigation and may need to meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, gender identity and sexual orientation. If you’d like more information about your EEO rights as an applicant under the law, please copy and paste the links to the following two sites: EEO Statement | EEO Poster

If you are an individual with a disability and require a reasonable accommodation to complete any part of the application process, or are limited in the ability or unable to access or use this online application process and need an alternative method for applying or interviewing, you may email  for assistance. This email address is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the application process or status.

For Pay Transparency Non Discrimination provision, please copy and paste the following link: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision