The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Alongside the increased use of financial measures -- such as economic and financial sanctions -- to advance our national security and foreign policy objectives, financial intelligence has taken on greater importance in our national security. Mr. Cohen will speak on the types of financial intelligence that is collected, how it is used to fuel financial measures and other efforts, and some of the challenges facing the collection and use of financial intelligence on the horizon.
David S. Cohen, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is a Senior Fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Cohen, who as the Agency’s second-in-command from 2015-2017 helped oversee all CIA operations, served previously as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
As Deputy Director of the CIA, Cohen handled foreign intelligence collection, all-source analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships, and assisted in managing the CIA’s domestic and worldwide operations. At the conclusion of his tenure, Mr. Cohen was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA's highest honor. As Under Secretary at the Treasury, he directed the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting financial support to nations, organizations, and individuals posing a threat to U.S. national security. Previously, he was the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, overseeing counterterrorist financing and anti-money laundering policy efforts.
Prior to joining the Treasury Department in 2009, Cohen practiced law in Washington, D.C. for almost 20 years. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Treasury’s General Counsel’s office and clerked for a federal trial court judge.
David Cohen currently is a partner at WilmerHale, where he provides clients with anti-money laundering, financial and trade sanctions advice; represents US and foreign-based clients in matters implicating national security, including CFIUS and cybersecurity; conducts internal investigations; and defends clients facing government investigations. His practice has a strong emphasis on disputes involving US and foreign regulators and enforcement agencies, often involving cross-border issues, as well as proceedings in US and foreign adjudicative venues.
Cohen earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, where he graduated magna cum laude in Government with Distinction in All Subjects. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell and a member of the Board of Advisors at the Center on Law and Security of New York University Law School and an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, and the Treasury Department’s Alexander Hamilton Award.David S. Cohen, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been named a Senior Fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Cohen, who as the Agency’s second-in-command from 2015-2017 helped oversee all CIA operations, served previously as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.