Corruption’s Clear and Present Danger to Democracy

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SNF Agora Institute Conference Room

Corruption enables autocrats to retain power by enriching those most loyal at the expense of the many. It undermines democratic institutions and thrives when they are weak. In recent decades, the globalization of corruption—and use of opaque financial vehicles and loopholes in the global financial system—has driven a rise in state capture and the misuse of public office for personal gain in a growing number of countries around the world. Moderated by SNF Visiting Fellow Camille Eiss, this discussion will feature investigative journalist and Publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) Drew Sullivan and financial crime prevention expert, Justyna Gudzowska, who currently serves as Senior Advisor at The Sentry and Associate Fellow with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Speakers will explore the ways in which illicit webs of actors and schemes undermine democratic governance globally and share firsthand how various actors across the anti-corruption ecosystem are working to counter this threat. The discussion will shed light on the evolving risks for those working to expose corruption as well as the critical ways in which civil society investigations help foster accountability.

JHU graduate and undergraduate students are invited to join the SNF Agora Institute for this off-the-record discussion. Dinner will be provided for all attendees.

Please note that this event is for Johns Hopkins University students. 

About our Speakers:

Drew Sullivan is a social entrepreneur and co-founder and publisher of OCCRP. He founded the organization in 2007 with Paul Radu. Before that, in 2004, he founded and edited the Center for Investigative Reporting, the leading investigative center in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Under his direction, OCCRP has won numerous awards, including the Daniel Pearl Award, the Global Shining Light Award, the Tom Renner Award for Crime Reporting, the European Press Prize, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. OCCRP’s work on the Panama Papers with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.                                                                                                                             

Justyna Gudzowska is an associate fellow with the Royal United Services Institute. She served as the Director of Illicit Finance Policy at The Sentry, an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy. Prior to joining The Sentry, she was the lead sanctions attorney at Morgan Stanley, overseeing the implementation of sanctions for the bank’s offices across the globe and its more than 60,000 employees. She also worked for the United Nations as part of an expert team and advised the Security Council on countering the financing of terrorists, in particular ISIS and Al-Qaida.                     

Camille Eiss is an SNF Agora Visiting Fellow who currently serves as Senior Adviser to the Sanctions Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State. She is the former chief of global partnerships and policy at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a cross-border reporting platform for a global network of investigative journalists that exposes crime and corruption, holding power to account. In that role she lead policy outreach, strategic planning, new partnership development, and an international team that engaged civil society, governments, philanthropy, and the public to support independent media and advance accountability around the world.