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Juan Carlos Zarate serves as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. In his current role, Mr. Zarate is responsible for developing and overseeing the effective implementation of the U.S. governments counterterrorism strategy.
Prior to joining the NSC, Mr. Zarate served as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes where he led Treasurys domestic and international efforts to attack terrorist financing, build comprehensive anti-money laundering systems, and expand the use of Treasury powers to advance national security interests. Mr. Zarate also led the U.S. governments global efforts to hunt Saddam Husseins assets, resulting in the return of over $3 billion of Iraqi assets from the U.S. and around the world.
Prior to working at the Department of the Treasury, Mr. Zarate served as a prosecutor in the Department of Justices Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, where he worked on terrorism cases, such as the USS Cole investigation. Mr. Zarate previously worked as a federal law clerk for Chief Judge Judith Keep in the Southern District of California.
Mr. Zarate is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School. He studied as a Rotary International Fellow at the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain.
Mr. Zarate is the author of Forging Democracy, a book on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on democratization in Central America
Mr. Zarate was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, and he is a member of the California Bar. He is a member of Mater Dei High Schools Ring of Honor, its honorary hall of fame.