Associate Professor

Moyara Reuhsen Headshot
Office
McCone Building M213
Tel
(831) 647-4145
Email
mruehsen@miis.edu

Professor Moyara Ruehsen oversees the Financial Crime Management program, which offers a specialization for master’s degree candidates as well as a stand-alone certificate for mid-career professionals. She has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics related to threat finance and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and a Certified Financial Crime Specialist. Professor Ruehsen teaches financial crime-related courses on a variety of topics including money laundering, trade-based financial crime, corruption, proliferation financing, terrorist financing and cyber-enabled financial crime.

Before coming to MIIS, Professor Ruehsen received three graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and spent a post-doc year at the University of California, Berkeley, to study international organized crime.Her regional areas of interest include South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where she spent a year as a Fulbright scholar.

Professor Ruehsen also consults for the U.S. government, multilateral organizations and the private sector.She served for several years on the Editorial Advisory Board of Money Laundering Alert, and the Middle East Task Force of ACAMS (Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists).

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

This course begins with an introduction to financial crime, beginning with traditional money laundering schemes, and then delves more deeply into financial crimes related to trade and investment, such as false trade invoicing, the black market “peso” exchange, the use of high value metals, and sanctions circumvention. Prevailing* laws, regulations and best practices will be reviewed. Students will look at a few case studies and learn how to spot “red flag” indicators, and conduct a simulation in class. This will require critical thinking. Students will also complete a take-home exercise involving visual presentation skills requiring the ability to convey a complex crime schematically.

This course is designed for students who hope to become financial crime specialists, or merely gain fundamental knowledge of financial crime risks and regulations. This expertise is useful for careers in public or private sector compliance, investigative analysis, trade finance, and security/intelligence.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS First Half of Term, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS First Half of Term

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Financial Crime Investigations & Compliance Management

This course is a follow-on to NPTG 8621: Introduction to Money Laundering and Trade-Based Financial Crime. It is designed for students who wish to pursue a career related to financial crime detection and prevention, whether in the government sector, private sector or multilateral agency.

The first part of the course covers all the elements of shaping an institution's financial crime compliance program, including AML, FCPA, OFAC and FATCA compliance. Students will develop their own risk scoring methodology for geographic risk and customer risk. We will also look at AML regulations and enforcement in other countries around the world.

Students will examine at what a number of multilateral organizations are doing like the Basel Committee Guidance, Wolfsberg Group recommendations, FATF blacklists and FATF mutual evaluations.

Many case studies will also be examined – both cases of banks behaving badly, as well as international criminal investigations – shedding light on how financial crimes are brought to light and how law enforcement can best investigate and prosecute.

Finally, any well-structured compliance program also has a system for escalating alerts for further investigation and reporting. In this class, students will review how to find and assess sources of evidence, spot red flags, and identify beneficial owners. Financial crime investigators, whether they be in the private sector or public sector, must master not only research skills, but also analytical and writing skills. For the final assignment, students will learn how to write up a suspicious transaction report with actionable intelligence.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Second Half of Term, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Second Half of Term

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Seminar: Cyber-Enabled Financial Crime

Cyber-enabled financial crime includes everything from the most sophisticated malware intrusions to the simple purchase of stolen data to commit clever spear-phishing schemes. Throughout the semester we will examine the most common ways cybercriminals are generating ill-gotten gains, who are these cybercriminals and who are their targets, how they launder those criminal proceeds, and what the public and private sector can do to defend themselves and neutralize these threats. No prior background in cybersecurity is required, although it would certainly be helpful. The deliverables for the course will include a 7 to 10 page case study and a 5 minute video with fairly high production values. The best videos will be selected for showcasing at the Monterey Threat Financing Forum in March. Some of the homework assignments and tutorials outside of class will be devoted to video production. Although the course is designed for students in the Financial Crime Management specialization, who have already successfully completed the three core courses in the FCM curriculum and would like to explore cyber-enabled financial crimes more deeply, 2nd year students with a strong interest in cybersecurity are also welcome.

Fall 2019 - MIIS

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This course is similar to a mini-seminar in that students will have a big project deliverable at the end, which must be related to either terrorism financing, WMD proliferation financing (by state or non-state actors), or sanctions evasion/enforcement. The final deliverable can take the form of a video (including narrated slide deck saved in a video format), or live presentation and poster session. In addition to deepening knowledge about a specific case or topic, students will learn about other students’ cases and a lot of time will be spent on honing narration and presentation skills. The best projects will be showcased at the Monterey Threat Financing Forum in March 2019.

The course will be delivered in a hybrid format via Canvas and Zoom (for smaller group meetings with professor) in order to accommodate students who will not be in Monterey for most of Winterim. However, students must be back on campus for face-to-face sessions beginning Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

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Cybersecurity is becoming a concern for everyone, and not just for our national security cyber professionals. Whether we want to protect our own personal devices and information, or help our employees develop proper cyber hygiene and safety protocols, we need to learn the vocabulary, concepts and basic techniques that cybersecurity specialists take for granted. This seminar has a unique format. In the first half of the semester, students will study basic cybersecurity vocabulary, different types of malware and attack vectors, cyber-enabled financial fraud, and countermeasures, including basic multi-factor authentication, more sophisticated passive and active methods of intrusion detection, and symmetric and asymmetric encryption. While learning all of this content, students will think about how such content can be most effectively absorbed via multi-media platforms and techniques. In the second half of the semester, each student will produce training module in a medium of their choice. Numerous training skills will be honed, including effective vocal narration techniques, podcast production, filming and/or animation skills, and video editing. The goal will be to produce cybersecurity training content for the larger Middlebury community.

Fall 2018 - MIIS

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Areas of Interest

  • Money Laundering
  • Terrorism Financing
  • Proliferation Financing
  • Corruption, PEP Monitoring
  • Cyber-enabled Financial Crime
  • Sanctions Compliance
  • BSA/AML Compliance

Programs

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Washington, D.C.  Doctoral exams in both International Economics and Middle East Studies.
  • MA, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), JHU, Washington, D.C.
  • MHS, School of Public Health, JHU, Baltimore, Maryland. Biostatistics and International Health. Delta Omega National Honor Society.
  • BA, School of Arts and Sciences, JHU, Baltimore, Maryland. Phi Beta Kappa and General Honors.

Professor Ruehsen has been teaching at the Institute since 1994.

Publications

  • Moyara Ruehsen, “The Ongoing Cyberwarfare Between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” KCL Dialogue (a quarterly journal of King’s College London), October 2016.
  • Moyara Ruehsen, “Opinion: The Paris Attacks Have Forced a European Rethink on Terror Finance,” Newsweek (26 January 2016).http://www.newsweek.com/paris-attacks-have-forced-european-rethink-terr…
  • Moyara Ruehsen and Leonard Spector, "Following the Proliferation Money," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol 71 (5), 2015.
  • "Breaking the Ice In Baghdad," Toastmaster Magazine, September 2014.
  • Freeman, Michael and Moyara Ruehsen, "Terrorism Financing Methods: An Overview," Perspectives on Terrorism Volume 7, Issue 4, August 2013.
  • "PKK" in Michael Freeman's Financing Terrorism: Case Studies, Ashgate Press, 2012.
  • "Afghanistan's Drug War - The Farmers Aren't the Enemy," LA Times, 2 November 2009.
  • “Arab Government Responses to the Threat of Terrorist Financing,” Chapter in J. Giraldo and H. Trinkunas, Terrorism Financing and State Responses in Comparative Perspective, Stanford University Press, Fall 2007.
  • “Choosing an Appropriate Palestinian Monetary Regime,” Research in Middle East Economics Volume 6, 2005, pp. 183-199.
  • “Diamonds Are a Terrorist’s Best Friend,” MoneyLaundering.com (September 2004).
  • “Little Noticed UN Report Cites Alleged Saudi Terrorist Financing,” Money Laundering Alert, (October 2003).
  • “Dirty Laundering: Financing Latin America’s Drug Trade,” (review essay) in Harvard International Review, (Winter 2003).
  • “The Fallacy of Sanctions,” Middle East Insight (March-April 2002).
  • “Tracing al-Qaeda’s Money,” Middle East Insight (January-February 2002).
  • “Suspected UAE Links to Terrorist Funds Spark Anti-Laundering Efforts,” Money Laundering Alert (December 2001).
  • “Arab Naming Customs Complicate Screening for Suspected Terrorists,” Money Laundering Alert (December 2001).

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