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Asset Recovery of Grand Corruption: Lessons from Romania / December 11, 2019, Washington, DC

The Wilson Center organises

Asset Recovery of Grand Corruption: Lessons from Romania

Washington, DC, Wilson Center

December 11, 2019

Romania continues to confront major hurdles in its struggle against deep-rooted, longstanding corruption. In July 2019, for example, the Romanian parliament significantly weakened the country’s anti-money laundering laws, thereby making it easier to legalize the proceeds from corruption and other criminal activities. Judge Camelia Bogdan will assess the main barriers to reforming Romania’s anti-money laundering legislation and fighting corruption in Romania.

Camelia Bogdan (speaker) is an experienced Bucharest Court of Appeals judge who specializes in countering economic crime and asset recovery. In her capacity as expert of the European Commission, she has participated in more than 40 international conferences or training sessions of the law enforcement agents, and has been invited or recommended by international institutions such as the World Bank, the European Commission, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union Intellectual Property Office. In 2009, Camelia Bogdan was awarded a PhD in Criminal Law from the Bucharest University, Faculty of Law, for her thesis titled “Countering Money Laundering of the Proceeds Derived from Organized Crime Activities, in the light of Domestic and International Regulations.” She is currently working towards a new PhD under joint supervision by Bucharest University and Strasbourg University. Her thesis title is “Asset Recovery of the Proceeds of Crime in French and Romanian Criminal Trial.” In 2018, she received the Fulbright Senior Award for Visiting Scholars and the 2018 Ion Ratiu for Democracy fellowship/award. She is currently affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her research focuses on Fostering Efficacy in the Asset Recovery of Proceeds of Grand Corruption in Romania, Tackling Money Laundering through State-Owned Enterprises and Global Prohibition Regimes Against Corruption.

Mark Gitenstein (commentator) was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Romania, completing his term of service at the end of 2012. As Ambassador, he worked to strengthen relations with Romania on a variety of issues. The focus of his mandate was strengthening the rule of law and anticorruption regimes in Romania. He also actively promoted deeper development of Romania’s equity markets. The US-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement was negotiated and signed during his tenure. In 2012, Romanian President Traian Băsescu awarded Mark with the “Star of Romanian Grand Cross,” the country’s highest civil order. He is senior counsel in the Government and International Trade practice in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office and serves on the board of and is President of the Biden Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Fondul Proprietatea, a closed end fund in Romania valued in excess of $ 2 bn. In that capacity he returns to Romania at least 4 times a year.

Michael Guest (commentator) is an independent consultant, offering strategic advice to corporate clients and civil society organizations. Before 2008, Ambassador Guest served for 26 years as a career Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State. That career embraced service as Ambassador to Romania (2001-04); Deputy Chief of Mission in the Czech Republic; and on two US negotiating teams (German unification, US-Soviet strategic arms). His executive-level duties at the State Department included Dean of the Leadership and Management School; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs; Deputy Executive Secretary; and Assistant Press Secretary at the White House. He returned to diplomacy briefly in 2010, at then-Secretary Clinton’s request, to lead the U.S. Delegation to the Human Rights Review Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Warsaw. Ambassador Guest serves on advisory councils to World Learning and the Atlantic Council; as a Director of the Friends of the National Museum of the History of the Romanian Jewry and the Holocaust; and, until this fall, on the National Security Education Board.

Dennis Deletant (commentator) is Visiting Ion Rațiu Professor of Romanian Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He is Emeritus Professor of Romanian Studies at University College, London, where he taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, between 1969 and 2011, and was Professor of Romanian Studies at the University of Amsterdam (on secondment from UCL) between 2003 and 2010. He is the author of several monographs on Romanian history, among them Ceauşescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-89, London: Hurst & Co., 1995; New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1995: Hitler’s Forgotten Ally. Ion Antonescu and his Regime, Romania, 1940-1944, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; and British Clandestine Activities in Romania during the Second World War, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 (translated as Activități britanice clandestine (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2019). His most recent study in English, Romania under Communism: Paradox and Degeneration, was published in October 2018 (Oxford; New York: Routledge).

William E. Pomeranz (moderator) is Deputy Director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and head of the Center’s Rule of Law Initiative.


William E. Pomeranz
Deputy Director, Kennan Institute

Mark Gitenstein
Special Counsel, Mayer Brown, and Former Ambassador of the U.S. to Romania
Michael Guest
Ambassador to Romania (2001-2004)
Dennis Deletant
Former CWIHP Senior Scholar, Visiting Ratiu Professor of Romanian Studies

Camelia Bogdan
Ion Ratiu Democracy Fellow
Judge, Bucharest Court of Appeals; Associated Researcher, Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Bucarest

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