Yesterday, the Department of the Treasury announced that Andrea Gacki, who had been serving as the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has been appointed as the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

FinCEN, which faces a daunting agenda and associated timelines courtesy of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Corporate Transparency Act, has been without a Director for some time.  The fact that the (now former) Director of OFAC was appointed to head FinCEN says a lot about the critical importance of sanctions — particularly the unfolding sanctions relating to Russia — to the Treasury Department and the Biden Administration in general.

The Treasury Department’s press release sums everything up. It is set forth below.

Ms. Gacki presently serves as the Director of [OFAC] at the Treasury Department, where she has played a leading role in the United States Government’s implementation and enforcement of economic sanctions during critical national security challenges facing the United States. She also performed the functions of the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), giving her deep experience and expertise on the unique role that TFI, including FinCEN, plays in combatting illicit finance threats.

“I am honored and excited to serve as the Director of FinCEN. FinCEN plays a vital role in safeguarding the U.S. financial system, and I look forward to leading the FinCEN team in these important efforts,” said Director Gacki. “I also look forward to continuing FinCEN’s critical efforts to implement the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, including the Corporate Transparency Act.”

“Andrea is an outstanding and widely respected leader, and I am confident that she will excel as the Director of FinCEN during this critical time in FinCEN’s history,” said TFI Under Secretary Brian Nelson. “Her deep experience leading significant national security initiatives on behalf of the Treasury Department and the broader U.S. Government will be key assets to FinCEN and TFI in her new role.”

Acting FinCEN Director Himamauli “Him” Das will continue in his role during the transition period and assist Ms. Gacki in her onboarding process. “Treasury is deeply appreciative of Him for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership these past two years. He steered the Bureau through unprecedented times where the demands increased exponentially, and he achieved remarkable accomplishments during his tenure, including overseeing the Bureau’s implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act,” said Under Secretary Nelson.

Prior to her service as Director of OFAC, Ms. Gacki served in multiple senior leadership roles at OFAC, including Deputy Director, Associate Director for Compliance and Enforcement, and Assistant Director for Licensing. Prior to OFAC, Ms. Gacki served as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where she litigated a range of matters implicating key TFI legal authorities. Ms. Gacki began her career as an associate at a large international law firm following a clerkship for the Honorable Avern Cohn on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Michigan.

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