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Director, Illicit Finance Policy

Position: Director, Illicit Finance Policy
Location: Washington D.C.
Status:  Full-time
Reports to: Chief of Staff

Position Summary

Engagement and Stakeholder Relationships:  The incumbent oversees the formulation of all illicit finance policy work related to The Sentry’s focus countries, working with country teams and experts across the organization. In particular, the incumbent serves as the senior subject matter expert on the strategic use of various targeted financial pressures, including “network” sanctions and anti-money laundering (AML) measures. These would include FinCEN advisories and USA Patriot Act special measures in the United States and analogous tools in other jurisdictions. The Sentry’s objective in advocating for the deployment of these policy instruments is to alter the incentive structure of those benefiting financially and politically from violence and repression in the countries we are working on now in Africa and in those we will expand to globally in the coming years. The incumbent has an extensive understanding of and experience in how policy, regulatory, and private sector stakeholders are critical for the successful use of these financial tools of pressure and how they support peace, human rights and good governance in the countries we work on. The incumbent is able to contribute to public discourse on these issues with expert-level authority. The incumbent understands US and European financial pressures at an expert level and has a sufficient understanding of multilateral and regional tools and initiatives. The incumbent also has a working knowledge of financial crimes compliance processes and procedures at financial institutions and experience engaging or working with the banking sector.

The incumbent is responsible for the creation, relationship management, and execution of the organization’s illicit finance policy recommendations for global and regional banks, key governments, and relevant multilateral institutions. The incumbent oversees organizational efforts to influence policy and compliance outcomes through strategic outreach and engagement in the United States, Europe, Africa, and other regions we expand to in the future, based on The Sentry’s investigative findings and the incumbent’s expert-level understanding of leveraging existing tools to increase pressure and encourage the global fight against financial crimes linked to human rights abuses and grand corruption. This includes direct engagement with governments and financial institutions in Washington, New York, European capitals, and across Africa and other regions, as well as coalition-building and other indirect forms of engagement and advocacy.

Policy Thought Leadership and Publications: The incumbent provides support and direction to the country teams on strategies for using financial pressure, compliance practices, and legal tools to achieve our country policy objectives in order to systematically integrate the use of these tools into the policy and investigative work of The Sentry. The incumbent also leads the Sentry’s work on necessary and organizationally agreed global reforms related to countering illicit financial flows. The incumbent works with country teams, the Sentry’s Investigations and Strategy Director, and the Sentry’s Co-Founder to develop recommendations for the use of financial tools and other strategies that fit the organizational policy goals based on the specific context of each country and situation. The incumbent helps develop the financial pressure strategies for each country and issue within The Sentry’s focus. This entails identifying—with the country teams—potential targets and proscribing actions to build the leverage needed to alter the incentive structures of key actors on the ground. The incumbent oversees the production of memos, dossiers, non-papers, and other written products on The Sentry’s illicit finance policy recommendations and drafts public-facing policy briefs, Sentry Advisories, op-eds, and similar materials on tools of financial pressure and related policy issues. The incumbent coordinates with the Co-Founder, the Investigations and Strategy Director, and the Communications team on media engagement and, at times, represents the organization in press interviews. The incumbent also contributes policy material to investigative reports and other publications by The Sentry.

Team Performance Management and New Relationships: The incumbent identifies new opportunities for The Sentry to generate impact by persuasively influencing decision-makers in governments and financial institutions, including by developing new partnerships for the organization with civil society organizations and think-tanks, global and regional banks, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and FATF-style regional bodies. The incumbent is ultimately responsible for the overall performance of their team in achieving organizational objectives and is directly responsible for the management and performance of the Illicit Finance Policy team. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that The Sentry’s staff are trained on the financial tools of pressure and build knowledge on “network” sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, asset forfeiture, and other tools of financial pressure, along with the  prescriptive, country-specific policy proposals advocated for by our organization aimed at building leverage for peace, human rights, and good governance in the countries in which we work.

Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Ability

  • Master’s degree or other higher degree
  • At least eight years of experience in policy related to sanctions/AML within the US government, United Nations system, other governments, and/or financial institutions
  • Experience engaging staff and senior leadership of government agencies, financial institutions, and civil society organizations
  • At least four years of experience managing a team
  • Excellent writing, editorial, oral communication, and presentation skills; good track record in writing analytical reports
  • Experience making effective presentations and speaking publicly
  • Team player with superb interpersonal, organizational, and management skills, including the ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously and maximize employee contributions
  • Understanding of staff training needs on illicit finance issues and related subject areas
  • A high level of personal energy, dependability, creativity, and commitment
  • Ability to collaborate and work effectively in a fast-paced environment
  • Good humor and general problem-solving skills
  • Organized, disciplined, and proactive
  • Works well under deadlines
  • Commitment to The Sentry’s missions and goals

Preferred Experience

  • Demonstrated commitment to peace and human rights consistent with the mission of The Sentry
  • Knowledge of issues related to Central and East Africa
  • Experience contributing to efforts designed to improve and sustain positive organizational culture and DEI principles
  • Nonprofit management
  • Media engagement

The Sentry is a strategic partner of the Enough Project, which is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding, and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to Please include “Director of Policy” in the subject line of your email.