Peter E. Harrell is a Senior Advisor with International Capital Strategies. He is a leading expert on international sanctions, cross-border investment security screening (CFIUS) issues, trade controls, and other aspects of international economic policy. As an attorney and strategist, he advises clients on international economic and regulatory policy and legal compliance. He also serves as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a non-partisan public policy research organization, where he writes and speaks on the intersection of economics and national security. His current public policy research interests include economic statecraft, foreign investment in the U.S., sanctions, and trade.


As an advisor to leading multinational companies, Harrell has written reports on economic and regulatory trends and on the impacts of changing government policies and regulations, and he provides legal advice to companies dealing with complex legal and regulatory matters. As a foreign policy expert and commentator, Harrell has published numerous articles in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Politico, Foreign Affairs, Reuters, and The Hill, has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, among other media appearances. He has also authored long-form public policy analysis and reports on countries including Russia and China. 

From 2012-2014, Mr. Harrell served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In that role, Harrell was instrumental in developing international sanctions against Iran, Russia, and Syria, and in the easing of sanctions on Myanmar.  He also played a leading role in the U.S. government’s efforts to counter terrorist financing, including work to combat the financing of the Islamic State, and in promoting global anti-money laundering and financial transparency and financial crime compliance standards.

Mr. Harrell served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff from March 2009 to June 2012, where he played a leading role in developing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s economic statecraft agenda, including advising Secretary Clinton on global trade and investment policy, and on tools to attract foreign investment to the U.S. and to promote U.S. business abroad. He also worked on a variety of other trade and economic issues, and authored and edited sections of the State Department’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Before joining the State Department, Mr. Harrell served on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and he previously worked as a reporter. Mr. Harrell is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School.