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ITHACA, NY – The CIA’s efforts to protect and promote U.S. national security continue to reap both praise and controversy. As part of this on-going national discussion, Deputy Director of the CIA David S. Cohen will speak on “The Future of the CIA” as Cornell’s 2015 LaFeber-Silbey Endowment Lecturer in History, sponsored by the Department of History in the College of Arts & Sciences. The lecture, on Thursday, September 17, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall, is free and the public is invited.

From 2011 until 2015, Cohen (Cornell ‘85) was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He was the driving force behind the U.S. Treasury Department’s increasingly sophisticated use of financial warfare against terrorists and the application of financial and trade sanctions against nations, including Russia and Iran, who are threatening vital interests of the United States and its allies. He also led the Department’s efforts to combat money laundering and financial crime.


Because of his leadership, President Obama recently tapped Cohen to become the number two person at the CIA. He is tasked with overseeing historical changes at the agency so it can more effectively deal with its top priorities.

The LaFeber-Silbey Endowment in History Lecture is held yearly and is given by speakers who are active in public life or policy-making and who are often Cornell alumni. Several generous alumni underwrite this series, named for two illustrious emeritus colleagues, Walter LaFeber and Joel Silbey, in order to expose undergraduates to distinguished figures with experience in public life, journalism, or academia.

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