|Family|| Unnamed ex-husband|
Two unnamed daughters
|Occupation||BAU Section Chief|
|Portrayed By||Jayne Atkinson|
|First Appearance||"No Way Out II: The Evilution of Frank"|
|Last Appearance||"The Replicator"|
Strauss seemed to be under the impression that Hotch's team was disorganized and posed a threat to the BAU, prompting her to enlist Emily Prentiss to spy on the team (a maneuver that backfired when Prentiss resigned her position instead) and to attempt Hotch's removal from the BAU with a pending investigation on his methods. She backed off her attention from the team after experiencing first hand what the team lives with every case in the field (In Name and Blood) but not before making sure that they understood that none of them will ever be able to move up in any higher positions within the FBI (though this opinion appears to have been proven wrong in later episodes).
In the episode "100," Strauss conducted the inquiry into the events surrounding the actual beating to death of George Foyet. She questioned each team member in turn to get to the bottom of the situation and ensure that "a bloodbath like this never happens again." She finally questioned Hotch, who told her that he believed if Foyet were allowed to get up off of the floor, he would have killed Jack too. She effectively cleared him saying, "That's good enough for me." She also fell away from her cold and spiteful personality that was the norm for most previous episodes and sincerely told Hotch how sorry she was and that "if there is anything you [Hotch] or your son need..." she would help.
In the episode Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, it is revealed that Strauss is fighting alcoholism and that Hotch knew that she was getting help. However, it seems that she had relapsed and she tries to keep it a secret. In the end, Hotch and Morgan arrange for her to be checked in privately. In the Season Seven two-part finale Hit and Run, she is hired to supervise the hostage situation at the Colonial Liberty Bank perpetrated by the infamous Face Cards. Hotch convinces her to delay the Director's order for SWAT teams to move in. By the end of Run, she thanks Morgan for finding out about her drinking problem and even jokes to him that Morgan won't be happy when she returns to duty when he states it will be an honor to have her back, possibly her first instance at displaying humor to the team. She is present at JJ and Will's wedding and happily dances with Rossi and the team, showing that she might have become a better person towards them.
Strauss becomes more prominent in Season Eight. It is revealed in The Silencer that the newest member of the BAU team, Alex Blake, worked with her during the Amerithrax case, during which Strauss left her to take the fall when a linguistics flub led to the arrest of the wrong suspect. As a result, Blake didn't get along with her afterwards. At the end of The Silencer, Strauss tries apologizing to her, but she is turned down. In Carbon Copy, she specifically oversees the investigation into the Replicator, and by the end of the episode, she apologizes to Blake again, and this time, her apology is accepted. In The Replicator, she is killed by the Replicator and the BAU attend her funeral. She is found drugged on the streets by Hotch and she admits that the Replicator forced her at gunpoint to drink again, something that she hates. She dies in Hotch's arms after begging him to stay with her as she doesn't want to die alone. It ends up being that the Replicator had a personal vendetta against her for passing him over and she indirectly helps defeat him post-mortem when Rossi uses her sobriety chip to escape the Replicator's trap, leaving him to die in an explosion. After her funeral, the team celebrates her life at a restaurant, discussing happy stories of her time with them and acknowledging her as a good woman, friend and mother.
Initially being an antagonist to the team, Strauss's opinion of the BAU appears to have changed due to her experiences in the field during the episode In Name and Blood and seeing the aftermath of the events in 100. She appeared to be very disturbed while reading the autopsy report on Haley and determined Hotch was justified in killing Foyet. She also expresses concern for Hotch in 25 to Life and that she is glad he is taking some time off. It is, however, in the episode The Stranger that she showed that all animosity with the BAU that she had once held had vanished. Strauss told Hotch that his team had dealt with terrible things in one year, namely the "death" of Emily Prentiss and the events surrounding Foyet, but that they had dealt with them exceptionally. She also told Hotch that she was taking some time off due to reasons that are believed to be personal and that she wanted him to take care of the departments under her responsibility while she was absent. Through Season Three to Season Five, Strauss changes from being an antagonist to the team, to a woman that understands the difficulties that the team goes through and has started to respect them. In About Face, she apparently doesn't believe people can be selfless. Its revealed that she is an alcoholic, something that ruined her relationship with her children. By her death in The Replicator, she is over a year sober and a sponsor to other alcoholics, but is forced to drink again before she dies by the Replicator, something she shows hate for.
- Season Two
- Season Three
- Season Five
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight