This week, Richard Nephew, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, was named the first Coordinator on Global Anti-Corruption at the US Department of State. Prior to his role at Columbia, Nephew most recently served as the deputy special envoy for Iran in the Biden-Harris administration.

“I welcome Richard back to the Department in this critical role and am confident that his experience and dedication to fight corruption and promote accountability will prove invaluable to our global efforts,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in an official statement. “Creating and filling this position demonstrates the importance the United States places on anti-corruption as a core national security interest and reiterates the central role global partnerships play in this fight.” 
 
“I’m honored to be asked to take up this important responsibility by Secretary Blinken and  I look forward to working with my colleagues at the State Department, in the US government, and internationally on this critical challenge,” said Nephew. “I’m grateful to Columbia for extending leave to pursue this wonderful opportunity and am glad to know that I will always have a home at CGEP.”
 
In this new role, Nephew will lead and implement the State Department’s first United States Strategy on Countering Corruption, which was announced ahead of the 2021 White House Summit for Democracy. The strategy outlines five strategic pillars, including: 

  • Modernizing, Coordinating, and Resourcing U.S. Government Efforts to Better Fight Corruption
  • Curbing Illicit Finance
  • Holding Corrupt Actors Accountable
  • Preserving and Strengthening the Multilateral Anti-Corruption Architecture
  • Improving Diplomatic Engagement and Leveraging Foreign Assistance Resources to Advance Policy Goals
     

“I am thrilled that Richard is returning to government to support US efforts to curb corruption around the world,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director at CGEP. “Few people understand the geopolitical nuances of US national security interests better than Richard. CGEP has been fortunate to have his expertise on these critical issues for so many years during these tumultuous times. He will be an invaluable resource to the State Department and to the nation.” 
 
Nephew previously served as principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department and as the lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran during the Obama administration. He played a central role in developing the sanctions imposed against Iran from 2006 to 2013, and was a senior member of the teams that negotiated the 2013 and 2015 Iran nuclear deals. 
 
Nephew also served as the director for Iran on the National Security Staff. Earlier in his career he served in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department and in the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at the Department of Energy. 
 
Read Richard Nephew’s full biography here.


Media Contact 
Natalie Volk
Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations 
Center on Global Energy Policy | Columbia SIPA
[email protected]