Archived Events 2014 – 2018

2018, 20172016, 2015, 2014


January 28, 2019: Dark Commerce: A Book Discussion with Dr. Louise Shelley

We were proud to host a discussion on the newly released book “Dark Commerce: How a New Illicit Economy Is Threatening Our Future.” Dr. Louise Shelley, the book’s author and director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, discussed her work and shared information on this important topic. Furthermore, Alan Bersin, the former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, served as a moderator.

View the flyer here.

November 28, 2018 The Abuse and Exploitation of Red Notices, Interpol and the U.S. Judicial Process by Russia and other Authoritarian States

TraCCC and the Antonin Scalia Law School’s National Security Institute (NSI) hosted a conference that focused on how the asylum and judicial process in the United States is being undermined and why. A very special group of speakers provided domestic and international perspectives on the problems that exist and offered thoughts on policies that can help mitigate risks.

View the flyer here.

View video of the event here (links to a playlist).

November 15, 2018 Examining the Links between Terrorist Financing and Antiquities Trafficking; Research Findings from the CLASI Project (Countering Looting of Antiquities from Syria and Iraq)

TraCCC hosted a panel discussion of research findings, by some of the archeologists, terror finance specialists, and other practitioners who worked on our U.S. State Department-funded CLASI project.

View the flyer here.

August 1: Corruption and the Russian Economy: A Book Discussion with Yulia Krylova

TraCCC hosted a discussion of corruption in Russia and its effect on the country’s economy. The books author, Yulia Krylova was present to discuss her findings. Additionally, Dr. Louise Shelley contributed to the discussion of the topic.

View the flyer here.

May 31: The Trade: Episode 3

TraCCC hosted  a screening of Episode 3 from the new Showtime Documentary Series, “The Trade”.  Following the screening, there was a panel discussion and Q&A with Dr. Louise Shelley of TraCCC and Eric Olsen, Deputy Director of the Latin American Program and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, on  transnational crime and its role in the opioid crisis.

View the flyer here.

April 14 – 15: Human Trafficking Hackathon

TraCCCC hosted our first-ever overnight Hackathon from April 14th to April 15th, 2018 on the subject of Human Trafficking. We brought together subject matter and technology experts to work in teams to develop innovative technological solutions to the problems that face law enforcement, advocates, and service providers as they combat human trafficking and help the survivors.

March 23: Money Laundering in Real Estate: How is it done?  How can we stop it?

TraCCC in association with sponsors, hosted an all-day conference bringing together representatives of government, law enforcement, financial institutions, academia and the real estate sector to better understand the impact of MLRE and how best to identify and counter it.

Please click the following link to view the 2018 MLRE Report.

To download a list of reading materials and associated links for the Money Laundering and Real Estate Conference, please click here.

February 6: Lines, Flows, and Transnational Crime: Toward a Revised Approach to Countering the Underworld of Globalization

TraCCC welcomed Alan Bersin, a renowned authority on transnational crime and international relations. His presentation proposed a new framework for combating transnational criminal activity. Mr. Bersin argues that Global illicit flows perpetrated by organized crime, in the interstices of lawful trade and travel, represent the principal security threat in today’s world, and that the Westphalian system of nation-states is ill equipped to confront it.

Click here to watch the lecture.


November 15 – Kleptocratic Regimes and National Security: A Pervasive Threat and How It Can be Neutralized – Co-Sponsored with Hudson Institute

TraCCC and Dr. Louise Shelley joined a panel of experts to examine how to address the security threats posed by kleptocratic regimes. Videos of speakers are available HERE.

On November 15, 2017 TraCCC co-sponsored a conference at the Hudson Institute on “Kleptocratic Regimes and National Security: A Pervasive Threat and How It Can be Neutralized.”

It had two objectives:

·      To identify and raise awareness about the vast array of threats that are caused or exacerbated by kleptocracies. These include great power competitors, nuclear aspirants, terrorism, organized crime, state failure, genocide, and obstruction of peace and stability operations.

·      To propose and obtain feedback on recommendations for responding to this threat.

The following recommendations were addressed:

·      Tailor assessment and planning to the threat from kleptocratic regimes

Sever the flow of illicit revenue, the center of gravity for kleptocratic regimes, by:

–       Passing beneficial ownership legislation

–       Using data science to combat kleptocracy’s threat to national security

–       Creating a database on the financial transactions of Politically Exposed Persons and a mechanism for the USG to share information about them with financial institutions

–       Using the Global Magnitsky Act and other precision-guided policy tools to sever the flow of illicit revenue to kleptocrats who threaten our national security

·      Use hybrid justice institutions to combat impunity by kleptocrats

·      Make accountability a priority equal to capacity building in the security sector

Click here to read the full report.

November 7 – Antiquities Trafficking: Why Should We Care? How Can We Counter It? Is It Funding Terrorism?

A panel discussion and chance to meet some of the amazing team of archeologists, terror finance specialists and other practitioners we will be working with on our new U.S. State Department-funded CLASI project.


  • Patty Gerstenblith,  Distinguished Research Professor,  DePaul University College of Law
  • COL Chris Herndon, US Army (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow, College of International Security Affairs
  • Ira Spar, Professor of Ancient Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director, American Numismatic Society

View flyer here.

Oct. 18 – The Illicit Business behind the Opioid Epidemic: What Can We Do About It?

A full day conference sponsored by  Schar School’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC). Speakers discussed:

·         Illicit actors and their business models

·         New technologies: They fuel the epidemic but can be the key to taming it

·         Policy gaps:  What can law enforcement and government agencies do better?

View the flyer here

Sept. 25 – Film Screening: American Exploitation: The Slaves among Us

TraCCC hosted the first ever screening of the new documentary, American Exploitation: The Slaves among Us, which focuses on the complex, subversive nature of sex trafficking and the efforts of social advocates, law enforcement agencies, state legislators, and victims-turned-heroes to effectively eradicate the volatile system from the idyllic area of southwest Florida and create lasting change in the world.

The film was followed by a panel discussion with the film producer, John Carter, and director, Ben Brothers.

Visit the film website HERE

View event flyer here.

Sept. 25 – Brazil: A Land Free of Organized Economic-financial Crime? with Judge Fausto Martin de Sanctis

TraCCC hosted Judge Fausto Martin de Sanctis, one of Brazil’s most renowned judges for his fight against organized crime, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.

See flyer here.


Sept. 11 – Remembering 9/11:  The Financing of the 9/11 Attacks

On September 11, TraCCC hosted a panel presentation on the illicit finance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, with financial investigation and anti-money laundering experts who took part in the post 9/11 investigations.


  • John Roth – Senior Counsel & Team Leader, 9/11 Commission
  • Dennis Lormel – Former Chief, Financial Crimes Section of FBI Criminal Division on 9/11
  • John Byrne – Executive Vice-President, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists

See event flyer here.


Sept. 14 – NATO’s Building Integrity Programme with Susan Pond

TraCCC was honored to host Susan Pond, director of NATO’s Building Integrity Programme (BI) to discuss the BI Program which aims to understand corruption as a security risk and the impact on defense and security, and provides advice and support to NATO members and partners.

See event flyer here.

May 10 – Unmasked: Corruption in the West with Laurence Cockcroft

Laurence Cockcroft to discussed his newest book which describes the more subtle forms of corruption which warp institutions in Europe and the US and currently fire the populism which has surfaced in both contexts impeding the ability of the west to assist in combating corruption in the developing world.

Unmasked: Corruption in the West with Laurence Cockcroft from Mason Schar School on Vimeo.


April 3 – Film Screening – Wildlife Crime Film Series Screening: The Ivory Game

In this Netflix Original documentary, filmmakers follow the ivory trade from the savannahs of Africa to the markets of Asia to expose the networks and corruption that are pushing the world’s largest land animal toward extinction. The film was followed by a panel discussion with Andrea Crosta, Executive Director of Elephant Action League, who is featured in the film, and Louise Shelley and Kasey Kinnard of TraCCC.

March 8 – Film Screening – The Poachers Pipeline:Dealers, Diplomats, and the Illegal Horn Trade

Film producer Kevin Hirten joined TraCCC for screening of this documentary film that goes underground to follow the illegal rhino trade from South Africa to Asia, exploring connections between high government officials, foreign diplomats and the organized crime networks that feed off of our global trade infrastructure. The film was followed by Q&A with Kevin Hirten of Al Jazeera, and Judy Deane and Kasey Kinnard of TraCCC.

February 16 – Threat Finance via Non-Traditional Revenue Streams: Diamonds, Tobacco, Counterfeits, & TBML

TraCCC convened a panel to discuss typically overlooked revenue streams of threat finance. Presenters shed light on nefarious actors’ involvement in various forms of illicit trade and natural resource exploitation to fund their activities. View event flyer HERE

Presenters & Panelists

  • Mr. Chris Martin – Counsellor, U.K.’s Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs
  • Ms. Valerie Silensky  – Senior Expert, AML/CFT Unit, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
  • Ms. Elizabeth Orlando – Economic and Commercial Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
  • Mr.  Dennis Lormel –  President & CEO, DML Associates, LLC
  • Dr. Sharon Melzer – Senior Fellow, TraCCC

February 3 – Governance in the Global Narcotics Trade

TraCCC co-hosted with the Center for Global Studies a full day conference on the governance of the narcotics trade. Patterns and processes through which the narcotics trade is governed in different locales and the implications this has for social and political systems were discussed.  Discussions focused on this process from a global and local perspective including analysis of case studies in Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

View event flyer HERE


December 9, 2016: Countering Wildlife Trafficking: Hot Spots, Congressional Action, and the Impact of CoP17, Featuring Worku Gachou – U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Matt Steed – U.S. State Department, Bryan Landry – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Jessican Hansen – C4ADS

Worku Gachou discussed the history, motivation, and intent of the END Wildlife Trafficking Act which was recently passed. Matt Steed discussed State Department plans for implementation of the Act. Bryan Landry discussed the global work of USFWS to combat wildlife trafficking, and the impacts of the September CITES meeting in South Africa. Jessica Hansen discussed the work of C4ADS to use innovative technology and network analysis to combat wildlife trafficking and the hot spots and emerging trends they see.

View flyer

May 11, 2016: The Panama Papers Panel:Tax Havens – Who, Why, & Impacts, Featuring: Marina Walker Guevara – Manager, Panama Papers Investigation and Juan Ricardo Ortega – Former Commissioner, Tax & Customs (Colombia)
Marina Walker Guevara discussed how the Panama Papers investigation came to be, how it was conducted, and how the information has been analysed and shared.
Juan Ricardo Ortega discussed how the use of tax havens and shell companies allows for the presence of trade based money laundering around the world and in Latin America.

View flyer

Tuesday April 5: The Dark Web and Human Trafficking featuring David Bringle
Mr. Bringle led a presentation on the role of the dark web in human trafficking and new technological methods for finding and combatting it. Discussion was based on his work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He discussed the dark web, challenges for conducting research in that space, and cutting edge efforts to make the dark web more transparent to law enforcement working to combat human trafficking.

View flyer

February 25, 2016 Nuclear Smuggling, Featuring: Orde Kittrie, J.D. & Louise Shelley, PhD.
Orde Kittrie and Louise Shelley discussed the findings and conclusions of their research, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, on the trade and smuggling of nuclear materials and the challenge of combating it. View the event flyer

January 21, 2016 – Campbell Fraser, PhD. – Human Organ Trafficking: Understanding the Changing Role of Social Media and Dark Web Technologies 2010-2015
Dr. Fraser discussed regular travels to investigate organ trafficking, including covert work with authorities in 21 “selling” and 24 “buying” countries. View event flyer.

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15 October 2015: Curtailing Corruption:People Power for Accountability & Justice
Shaazka Beyerle discussed her book, Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice, that examines how citizens – organized in nonviolent campaigns, social movements, and community initiatives – play a vital role in impacting corruption. Note that the events discussed are fluid and ongoing. At the time of posting, road building in the Khimki Forest has moved forward, against the wishes of protesters. Learn more about the book and speaker here. View the event flyer.


4 May 2015 Mark Pyman, Programme Director, Transparency International
Discussion of Transparency International work in the defense and security spheres, and current challenges. View event flyer.

27 April, 2015 Panel Presentation: Human Trafficking in Northern Virginia with Special Guest: U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock

  • U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock, Virginia 10th Congressional District
  • Delegate Tim Hugo, Majority Caucus Chairman
  • Detective William Woolf, Fairfax County Police Department Human Trafficking Unit
  • Beth Saunders, Business Sector Chair, Just Ask Prevention Project
  • Deepa Patel, Coordinator, Sex Offender Program; Director, Gang Intervention and Sexual Exploitation Programs, Multicultural Clinical Center
  • John Cook, Braddock District Supervisor

View the event here. The event gets underway at the 7 minute mark. View event flyer.

16 March 2015 Combating Criminalized Power Structures: Predominant Spoilers of Peace Missions
George Mason Univerisity’s Peace Operations Policy Program and TraCCC co-sponsored a full day’s discussion, with members of the UN High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, of recommendations for combating criminalized power structures–the leading spoilers of peace and stability operations. This will be based on conclusions from the new book, “Overlooked Enemies of Peace: Subduing Criminalized Power Structures”

Presenters Included

  • Desmond Arias, Director, George Mason University Peace Operations Policy Program
  • Stefan Feller, Senior Police Advisor, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • David Beer, former Police Commissioner from the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
  • Ameerah Haq and Andy Hughes, Vice Chair and member of the UN High-level Indpendent Panel on Peace Operations (closing remarks)

Watch selected speakers here. View event flyer.

3 March 2015: The Impact of Organized Crime on Governance, Development, and Fragility in Africa
TraCCC welcomed the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, in Washington for its 2015 advisory board meeting. The speakers, top specialists on Africa’s organized crime and the crime-terror relationship, highlighted the need to reconceptualize organized crime as an evolving threat to development, and addressed the complexities of transnational crime in all regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

The panel featured experts from throughout Africa:

  • Mark Shaw, Director of the Global Initiative
  • Camino Kavanagh, Independent Expert
  • Peter Gastrow, Senior Advisor, Global Initiative
  • Tuesday Reitano, Head of Secretariat, Global Initiative

Learn about the Global Initiative at their website. View event flyer.

22 January 2015: Human Trafficking Panel Presentation:The Situation in Northern Virginia and The Way Forward
TraCCC commemorated Human Trafficking Awareness Month with a panel presentation featuring experts from multiple industries. Speakers presented the current situation in the Northern Virginia region, and what can be done to address it.

The panel featured experts from multiple industries:

  • Kristen Fitzsimmons, Executive Director, Just Ask Prevention Project
  • Bill Woolf, Detective, Fairfax County Police Department, Human Trafficking Unit
  • Steve Steinberg, President, MEI Hotels
  • Nes Parker, Manager, Monitor Deloitte
  • Sandy Saunders, Co-Managing Shareholder DC at Greenberg and Traurig, LLP. (moderator)

Watch this lively presentation and the following discussion. View event flyer.

Human Trafficking Panel Presentation Jan 22 from MasonSPGIA on Vimeo.

Human Trafficking Q&A Jan 22 from MasonSPGIA on Vimeo.

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November 6, 2014: Organized Crime and Corruption in Central America
TraCCC, in conjunction with GMU Latin American Studies, hosted Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz and a discussion of organized crime and corruption in Central America.

The below video includes Dr. Paz y Paz’s presentation in Spanish (approx. 30min) followed by lengthy discussion in English and Spanish. View event flyer.

Claudia Paz from MasonSPGIA on Vimeo.

October 22, 2014: Dirty Entanglements Book Launch at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
TraCCC director, Dr. Louise Shelley, spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr. Shelley discussed her book, Dirty Entanglements, Corruption, Crime and Terrorism.

Moisés Naím acted as moderator, and Milan Vaishnev acted as discussant for this exciting talk.

Video of this presentation is available here.

September 15, 2014: Dirty Entanglements: Crime, Corruption, and Terrorism
TraCCC hosted a talk by its director, Dr. Louise Shelley, who discussed her newly-published book, Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism (Cambridge University Press 2014).

View event flyer.

TRACCC presents discussion of Dirty Entanglements from MasonSPGIA on Vimeo.

July 18, 2014: Disengaging from Terrorism: Lessons from the Turkish Penitents
TraCCC hosted Dr. Kamil Yilmaz, who discussed his recently published book in the TraCCC book series, Disengaging from Terrorism: Lessons from the Turkish Penitents (Routledge, 2014).

View event flyer.

May 2, 2014: The Role of Corruption in Recent Events in Ukraine
TraCCC hosted a talk on The Role of Corruption in Recent Events in Ukraine by Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Olena Shostko.

View event flyer.

18 April, 2014: Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth Screening
TraCCC co-hosted a film showing and lecture on human trafficking, presented by Love146 in association with Courtney’s House.
Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth is a documentary about domestic minor sex trafficking and the modern-day abolitionist movement fighting to stop it. The film will be followed by a guest talk by Tina Frundt, Executive Director and Founder of Courtney’s House, a survivor-run organization which, like Love146, provides a loving environment for girls and boys who are survivors of sex trafficking within the United States.

View event flyer.

4 February, 2014: The Illicit trade in Wildlife
Richard Ruggiero (US Fish and Wildlife Service) spoke on ivory and gold in Minkebe (Gabon), Kelvin Alie (International Fund for Animal Welfare) described how NGOs are helping to fight wildlife crime, and Gretchen Peters (TraCCC) spoke of strategies and challenges for investigating illicit networks. View event flyer.

(Left to right) Louise Shelley, Gretchen Peters, Kelvin Alie and Richard Ruggiero

(Left to right) Louise Shelley, Gretchen Peters, Kelvin Alie and Richard Ruggiero

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