Peter Harrell currently serves as Special Assistant to the President and the Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness on the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff for the Biden administration. Harrell is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is a leading expert on U.S. economic statecraft, including sanctions, export controls, trade policy, and other geoeconomic tools.
Harrell has published widely on topics including the use of economic coercion in the U.S.-China relationship, U.S. sanctions on Russia, Iran, and other countries, and the legal foundations of U.S. sanctions. He has testified in front of multiple congressional committees and his articles and op-eds have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, Lawfare, and other leading outlets. 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. From 2009 to 2012 he served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was instrumental in developing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s economic statecraft agenda. Earlier in his career, Mr. Harrell served on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. He is the author of one book, Rwanda’s Gamble: Gacaca and a New Model of Transitional Justice. Mr. Harrell is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School.