Juan Carlos Zarate was a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism during the George W. Bush administration. He currently serves as the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Financial Integrity Network, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, and as Senior Adviser at the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, Transnational Threats Project.
In his previous role, Zarate was responsible for developing and overseeing the effective implementation of the U.S. government's counterterrorism strategy.
Prior to joining the NSC, Zarate served as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes where he led Treasury's domestic and international efforts to disrupt terrorist financing, built comprehensive anti-money laundering systems, and expanded the use of Treasury powers to advance national security interests. He led the U.S. government's global efforts to seize Saddam Hussein's assets, resulting in the return of over $3 billion of Iraqi assets from the U.S. and around the world.
Prior to working at the Department of the Treasury, Zarate served as a prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, where he worked on the USS Cole investigation.
In June 2014, he accepted an appointment to the Board that oversees the Vatican's Institute for the Works of Religion ("IOR"), a move announced by Cardinal Pell of the Vatican Finance Ministry as part of Pope Francis I's efforts to clean up the finances of the Vatican. Zarate currently sits on the advisory board for nonprofit America Abroad Media.
Zarate is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School. He studied as a Rotary International Fellow at the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. He is a 1989 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California.
The son of a Mexican father and Cuban mother, he wrote his thesis on the effects of U.S. foreign policy on democracy in Latin America. In law school, he focused on international law and security issues and wrote his third-year paper on the use of private military contractors in war.
Zarate is the author of two books: Forging Democracy, a book on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on democratization in Central America (ISBN 0-8191-9527-8), and Treasury's War: The Unleashing Of A New Era Of Financial Warfare, about the use of financial power to counter terrorism (ISBN 1610391152).