Peter Harrell

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program

Research Areas

Peter Harrell is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, where he focuses on the intersection of economics and national security. Research interests include economic statecraft, sanctions and energy.

From 2012-2014, Mr. Harrell served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In that role, Harrell was instrumental in developing the international sanctions against Iran, Russia, and Syria, and in the easing of sanctions on Myanmar.  He also played a leading role in the U.S. government’s efforts to counter terrorist financing, including work to combat the financing of the Islamic State (ISIL).

Mr. Harrell served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff from March 2009 to June 2012, where he played a leading role in developing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s economic statecraft agenda. He also worked on a variety of other trade and economic issues, with a particular interest in Asia, and authored and edited sections of the State Department’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Before joining the State Department, Mr. Harrell served on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. He previously worked as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., and is the author of one book, Rwanda’s Gamble: Gacaca and a New Model of Transitional Justice. Mr. Harrell is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School. He is originally from Atlanta, Georgia.

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