January 23, 2015 | FDD Press Release

FDD Names Board of Advisors to Help Guide Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance

WASHINGTON – The Foundation for Defense of Democracies today announced 18 experts who will serve as members of the Board of Advisors for its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF). These advisors will provide strategic counsel and help shape FDD research on the convergence of economic and financial power and national security in the 21st century for the global policy community and private sector.

CSIF was founded in 2014 to research how America can best use and preserve its financial and economic power to promote its interests, defend the integrity of the financial system, and protect against adversaries leveraging their own economic resources and strategies against the United States and its allies.

CSIF is led by FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz, an expert on sanctions programs, along with Juan Zarate, former deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combatting terrorism and former assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes, who is the Center’s senior counselor and chairman of the Board of Advisors; Chip Poncy, former director of the Office for Strategic Policy for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of Treasury, who serves as the Center’s senior advisor; and FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury terrorism finance analyst.

Advisory board members will provide strategic guidance, lead initiatives and research projects, and assist in outreach for CSIF. They will complement the financial, economic, and area experts and analysts working within FDD, along with key partners who amplify the depth and reach of CSIF’s work.

“We are very excited to have these senior leaders and practitioners of foreign policy, national security and finance working with FDD to help guide the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance,” Dubowitz said. “These experts will be called on to help shape, lead and participate directly in CSIF’s projects and mission.”

CSIF’s advisory board members include former senior government officials, ambassadors and leading scholars from think tanks and academia.

“The new CSIF board members are leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of economic power and national security, and the diversity of their backgrounds and experience will add depth and breadth to the ongoing work at the Center and FDD,” Zarate said. “Collectively, this group of experts will shape new projects, doctrines, and policies to help strengthen America’s economic influence and financial suasion around the world.”

The full biographies of the members of the Board of Advisors can be found here.

FDD Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Board of Advisors

David Asher is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is a leading practitioner in the identification and pursuit of illicit financing and facilitations schemes. He formerly organized and ran the North Korea Illicit Activities Initiative for the National Security Council and State Department.

Michael Braun is a co-founder and managing partner at SGI Global. He is a former chief of operations and assistant administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he managed the DEA’s expansion in Afghanistan and its efforts in the Global War on Terrorism.

Zack Cooper is a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies focusing on Asian security issues. He previously served on the White House staff as assistant to the deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.

Nova Daly is a former deputy assistant secretary for Investment Security and Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury and chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He is also a former director of International Trade at the National Security Council and a trade policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Toby Dershowitz is vice president for government relations and strategy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. She has spent more than 25 years in Washington, focusing on policy issues related to terrorism, cybersecurity, democracy building, energy security and the Middle East.

Elaine Dezenski is the senior director and head of the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative at the World Economic Forum. She formerly served as the managing director of the Global Security Initiative for INTERPOL and has held senior posts at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security.

Paula Dobriansky is a senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Chair of the National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. Amb. Dobriansky served as undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and as the president’s special envoy to Northern Ireland.

Adnan Kifayat is a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund, where he advises the organization on its efforts to strengthen leadership development. He has held senior positions at the White House, Department of Treasury, and State Department, where he was acting special representative to Muslim communities.

Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler fellow and director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He served as deputy assistant secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury, as a State Department counterterrorism advisor to the special envoy for Middle East regional security, and as a counterterrorism intelligence analyst at the FBI.

Michael Madon is a senior strategy leader in cybersecurity and financial intelligence. He currently serves as vice president and general manager of RedOwl Analytics Inc., a software company that helps clients proactively manage risk and stay ahead of compliance mandates. He served as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Michele Malvesti is a senior fellow and lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She served on the National Security Council staff as the senior director for Combating Terrorism Strategy and co-chaired the presidential study review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counterterrorism for the Obama administration.

Robert McBrien is an authority in the employment of U.S. economic sanctions programs and played a seminal role in the conception, design, and development of the Specially Designated Nationals list. He served as the associate director for Global Targeting in the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Pat O’Brien is a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton and leads its practice area around financial intelligence and sanctions. He served as assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of Treasury, as well as senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and counsel to the director of the FBI.

Gretchen Peters is the senior fellow on Transnational Crime at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, School of Public Policy. She is the author of Seeds of Terror, and has supported U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Counter Narcotics and Global Threats in understanding and analyzing the links between conflict and organized crime.

Samantha Ravich is a senior advisor at The Chertoff Group. She was deputy national security advisor to the Office of the Vice President, and served as their representative on Asian and Middle East Affairs and counterterrorism and counterproliferation. She co-chaired the National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

James Rickards is chief global strategist at the West Shore Funds, editor of Strategic Intelligence, and director of The James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics and global capital. He is the author of The Death of Money and Currency Wars, and is an advisor on capital markets to the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon.

Amit Sharma is co-founder of Empowerment Capital. He was head of operations and strategy at Command Global Services, managing investigations of stolen sovereign assets. He served in the U.S. Department of Treasury as a senior advisor at the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and as chief of staff to the deputy secretary.

John Simon is a founding partner at Total Impact Advisors and the co-author of More than Money, a report on impact investing as a development tool. He served as the U.S. ambassador to the African Union and executive vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Amb. Simon also served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Relief, Stabilization, and Development for the White House National Security Council and as deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

About the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security.  Founded in 2001, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications and investigative journalism in support of its mission to promote pluralism, defend democratic values and fight the ideologies that drive terrorism. Visit our website at www.defenddemocracy.org and connect with us on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

About FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance:

FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance is a project designed to illuminate the critical intersection between illicit finance and national security. The Center relies on regional and sanctions expertise within FDD, including a core cadre of financial, economic, and area experts and analysts, to promote a greater understanding of illicit financing and economic threats. The Center also designs creative and effective strategies, doctrines, and uses of financial and economic power to attack and protect against priority threats and vulnerabilities. More information on CSIF is available at www.defenddemocracy.org/csif.

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Matthew E. Berger, Senior Director of Communications
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