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Wed, Apr 1, 2020

Reconciling sanctions and humanitarian need during COVID-19

As the world economy shuts down to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the humanitarian collateral effects of sanctions become more pronounced and potentially deadly. But the argument that the United States should unilaterally roll back sanctions draws a false dichotomy; sanctions do not have to be suspended or rolled back for the United States to better address humanitarian concerns.

New Atlanticist by Brian O’Toole

Cuba Economic Sanctions

Mon, Mar 16, 2020

Pushing back against Russian aggression: Legislative options

US President Donald J. Trump’s administration has found it challenging to maintain a consistent position with respect to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s repression at home and aggression abroad. It may again fall to Congress to attempt to counter Russia’s election interference, already ongoing in the form of disinformation; back Ukraine as its government seeks to […]

Issue Brief by Daniel Fried & Brian O'Toole

Economic Sanctions Economy & Business

Mon, Feb 24, 2020

FATF blacklists Iran, but does it matter?

The decision to impose counter-measures by the Paris-based body signals something of an end to the group’s patience with Iran, especially by the European Union, after Tehran failed to follow through on the action plan it agreed upon with the FATF to address its deficiencies.

IranSource by Brian O’Toole

Economic Sanctions Iran

Brian O’Toole is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program. He is an accomplished expert on economic sanctions with substantial experience across public and private sectors.

Brian is the current senior vice president and the anti-money laundering (AML) executive for sanctions at BB&T Bank. In that capacity, he oversees the bank’s sanctions compliance efforts, including standardized screening processes across several dozen lines of business.

Previously, Brian worked at the US Department of the Treasury from 2009 to 2017. During this period, Brian became a senior adviser to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). As senior adviser, he helped manage the implementation of all OFAC-administered economic and financial sanctions programs, and provided strategic direction of the internal management of the agency. He additionally played a central role in designing the US sanctions regime in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and negotiating the multilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union and G7 in coordination with the United States. Brian was also a key figure in implementing US government commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.

Prior to joining OFAC, Brian served as an illicit finance analyst for both the Treasury Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Central Intelligence Agency, and was an anticorruption specialist in the forensic services practice at PwC.

Brian holds a BA from Princeton University in economics, with a certificate in finance, and an MA from Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in international economics and strategic studies. Brian lives and works in Raleigh, NC.