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The TARIF aims to strengthen global democracy by identifying viable ways in which the UK and US can combine efforts in tackling illicit finance.


In both London and Washington, the focus on tackling illicit finance is intensifying. The Biden administration has identified the response to illicit finance, corruption and kleptocratic behaviour as a priority. And in the UK, the government’s Integrated Review promised to reinvigorate efforts to tackle illicit finance, noting that this was an area in which the UK could bolster its relationship with the US. But how these commitments will translate into action remains unclear.

In June 2021 RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies established a ‘Track 2’, non-government Taskforce on a Transatlantic Response to Illicit Finance (TARIF), to run for 12 months. It will provide much-needed and urgent input into the policy debate at this crucial time.

Aims and objectives

A group of experts and practitioners from both sides of the Atlantic will examine the illicit finance threats affecting the UK and US and the broader international community, and will consider the tools and responses that a transatlantic partnership could facilitate. They will analyse a range of topics, including: the financial architecture of the UK and US and its impact on the international community; responses to the financial dimension of hostile state activity; improving collaboration with affected international partners; future illicit finance threats; and the role of FinTech and decentralised finance.

RUSI will synthesise the TARIF findings into policy briefs and recommendations. It will also produce a range of public events and multimedia activities to highlight key issues that complement the Taskforce’s goals. Ultimately, the TARIF aims to identify new pathways for transatlantic collaboration in tackling global illicit finance, and therefore to strengthen democratic governance.

Project outputs

Commentary: Get Serious: Illicit Finance is a Threat to the US–UK Special Relationship, 15 December 2020

Commentary: Getting Serious? Illicit Finance Is Finally a UK Foreign Policy Issue, 25 March 2021

Taskforce members Include*

  • Melissa Aten, Senior Program Officer, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Elise Bean, Former Staff Director & Chief Counsel US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • Dr Katie Benson, Lecturer in Criminology, Lancaster University/Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Oliver Bullough, author and journalist
  • Creon Butler, Director, Global Economy and Finance Programme, Chatham House
  • Isabella Chase, Research Fellow, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
  • Simon Clark, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Liz David-Barrett, Director, Centre for the Study of Corruption, University of Sussex
  • Elaine Dezenski, Chief Growth Officer, Blank Slate Technologies and Senior Advisor, Center on Economic and Financial Power, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Gretta Fenner, Managing Director, Basel Institute on Governance
  • Lord Garnier QC
  • Duncan Hames, Transparency International UK, Director of Policy
  • Gary Kalman, Director of Transparency International's U.S. Office
  • Olivia Kearney, Community Building Officer, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI Europe
  • Tom Keatinge, Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
  • Paul Massaro, Policy Advisor, Helsinki Commission
  • Nick Maxwell, Head of the Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing (FFIS) Research Programme
  • Casey Michel, Adjunct Fellow, Hudson Institute Kleptocracy Initiative
  • Ari Redbord, Head of Legal and Government Affairs, TRM Labs
  • Matthew Redhead, Managing Director, Policy and Campaigns, FINTRAIL
  • Gemma Rogers, FINTRAIL, Co-Founder
  • Denisse Rudich, Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Josh Rudolph, Fellow for Malign Finance, Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund
  • Moyara Ruehsen, Professor and Director, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Financial Crime Management Program
  • Sarah Runge, Global Head of Regulatory Strategy, Credit Suisse
  • Nate Sibley, Hudson Institute, Research Fellow
  • Adam M. Smith, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP
  • Patricia Sullivan, Deutsche Bank, Head of Financial Crime Business Controls and Oversight
  • Trevor Sutton, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Sam Tate, Partner, RPC LLP
  • Ben Trim, HSBC, Head of Group Financial Crime Public Policy
  • Dr. Jodi Vittori, Nonresident Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Josh White, Stripe, Global Sanctions Lead
  • Juan C. Zarate, Chairman, Centre on Economic and Financial Power, FDD; and Global Co-Managing Partner, K2 Integrity

* This is not an all-inclusive list of taskforce members


Tom Keatinge
Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
Olivia Kearney
Community Building Officer