Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance


The Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) works to expand the understanding of economic warfare in the 21st century to develop further the doctrines and strategies of American financial and economic suasion. Launched in 2014, CSIF builds upon FDD’s success as a leading policy institute on the use of financial measures in foreign policy. Its mission is to strengthen and preserve the ability of America and its allies to deploy economic tools to promote national security, develop strategies to isolate rogue actors, and identify and guard against economic threats and vulnerabilities.

CSIF’s research and analysis catalyzes global action, in both the public and private sectors, to address core challenges to effective implementation of financial and economic power at a time when these ideas are increasingly central to U.S. national security interests. CSIF experts provide policy and subject matter expertise that highlights the critical intersection between illicit financial activities and national security, including money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions evasion, proliferation financing, cyber-enabled economic warfare, corruption and kleptocracy. CSIF is also exploring the changing technological landscape to understand its effects on financial transparency and the fundamentals of U.S. economic power.

CSIF is led by Mark Dubowitz, Juan Zarate, Chip Poncy, Jonathan Schanzer and Yaya J. Fanusie, and also relies on regional and sanctions expertise within FDD including a core cadre of financial, economic, and area experts and analysts. It is guided by a senior, expert board of advisors, which provides strategic guidance, leads initiatives, and assists in outreach.

CSIF Reports

In-depth research

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CSIF Congressional Testimony

CSIF experts regularly testify on Capitol Hill

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CSIF Board of Advisors