The U.S. Treasury Department announced that Andrea Gacki has been appointed as the new Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Previously, Gacki served as the head of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), an arm of the Treasury Department responsible for implementing and enforcing economic sanctions. She succeeds Himamauli "Him" Das, who has been serving as acting director for the last two years.
FinCEN, the U.S.'s primary financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering standard setter, has grappled with increased demands and regulatory responsibilities in recent years. The appointment of Gacki, a widely respected leader with extensive experience in the field, is seen as a significant boost for the bureau.
In her new role, Gacki faces the significant task of implementing the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act. This legislation aims to counteract the use of anonymous shell entities in illicit activities by requiring such entities to disclose their true, or "beneficial," owners to a secure directory at FinCEN. The Treasury Department has set a January deadline for the launch of this directory.
Additionally, FinCEN is responsible for ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering legislation across the vast U.S. real estate and private investment markets, a commitment outlined in the 2021 U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption.
Gacki's appointment has been hailed by financial transparency and anti-corruption advocates. Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition, described the appointment as a "crucial step to empower FinCEN to better safeguard the U.S. financial system." He expressed confidence in Gacki's ability to continue the momentum and deliver the necessary reforms to root out illicit money from the U.S. markets.
Zoë Reiter, co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Data Collective, said she looks forward to Gacki taking on this critical role and urged her to prioritize addressing the opacity of the private investment sector, a significant challenge in safeguarding national security.
Gacki's appointment marks the end of a period of uncertainty in FinCEN's leadership. The transition is expected to further empower the agency to fulfill its mission of combating financial crimes and illicit activities in the U.S. financial sector.