Libra: Balancing Risks & Opportunities

July 11, 2019 - 9:00 am

1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Libra: Balancing Risks & Opportunities

Opening Remarks:

Amb. Daniel Fried

Distinguished Fellow, Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center

Atlantic Council


Jennifer Fowler


Brunswick Group LLP

Barbara C. Matthews

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Founder and CEO, BCMstrategy, Inc.

Moderated By:

Bart Oosterveld

C. Boyden Gray Fellow on Global Finance and Growth; Director, Global Business & Economics Program

Atlantic Council

Facebook has revealed plans for its ambitious new digital currency, Libra, to launch in the first half of 2020. Libra, operating on a version of blockchain, hopes to become a widely adopted payment method, supported by Facebook's 2.4 bn users and a coalition of global corporations including Uber, Visa, and Spotify.

Libra's scale and potential to disrupt financial services markets pose a myriad of challenges. While Libra could bring about economic benefits, especially to those with limited access to traditional financial services, regulators worldwide are concerned with how to ensure Libra meets the highest standards to prevent money-laundering, tax evasion, or hacking. Join our expert discussion to learn more about these emerging challenges.  


Join us on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Atlantic Council headquarters (1030 15th Street, NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20005) for what promises to be a timely and informative discussion. This event is on-the-record and open to the media.

A light breakfast will be served.

On Twitter? Follow @ACGlobalEcon and use the hashtag #ACsanctions.


Amb. Daniel Fried is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council's Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center. Heplayeda key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As special assistant and National Security Council senior director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, ambassador to Poland, and assistant secretary of state for Europe (2005–2009), Ambassador Fried crafted the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations, thus advancing the goal of Europe whole, free, and at peace. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine starting in 2014: as State Department coordinator for sanctions policy, he crafted US sanctions against Russia, the largest US sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

Ambassador Fried became one of the US government’s foremost experts on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. He joined the US Foreign Service in 1977, serving overseas in Leningrad (human rights, Baltic affairs, and consular officer), and Belgrade (political officer), and in the Office of Soviet Affairs in the State Department. As Polish desk officer in the late 1980s, he was one of the first in Washington to recognize the impending collapse of Communism in Poland, and helped develop the immediate response of the George H.W. Bush Administration to these developments. Ambassador Fried received a BA in Soviet studies and history at Cornell University, and received an MA from Columbia’s Russian Institute and School of International Affairs.

Ms. Jennifer Fowler is a director at Brunswick Group’s Washington, DC office. She is an expert in illicit finance and economic sanctions-related issues, having served in senior positions in the US Department of the Treasury for nearly two decades. In her various roles at the Treasury, Ms. Fowler developed and led the implementation of counter-illicit finance strategies and policies. Prior to working at Brunswick, she was the Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes, and served as the vice president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setter for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. She has extensive experience working with foreign governments and financial institutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond to illicit finance threats.

Ms. Fowler received a master’s degree in foreign service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. 

Barbara C. Matthews is a nonresident senior fellow with the Global Business & Economics Program at the Atlantic Council. She was the first banking adviser and regulatory counsel to the Institute of International Finance (IIF) during the 1990s, until 2004. From 2004 to 2008, Barbara served in senior US government positions both in Washington and in Brussels. In Washington, she was the senior counsel for international issues at the House Financial Services Committee. In Brussels, Barbara was the first US Treasury Department attaché to the European Union with the US Senate-confirmed diplomatic rank of minister-counselor within the Department of State

From 2008 to 2016, Barbara ran a boutique consultancy providing geopolitical and regulatory policy analysis to a broad range of financial market participants in the United States and Europe. In 2017 she re-joined BCM International Regulatory Analytics where she is pursuing patent development.

Barbara holds a JD and an LLM in comparative and international law from Duke Law School. She holds a BScFS. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Bart Oosterveld is the C. Boyden Gray fellow on global finance and growth and the director of the Global Business & Economics (GBE) Program at the Atlantic Council. In this capacity, Oosterveld leads the Council's work on global trade, growth, and finance. Among many other things, the GBE program houses the EuroGrowth Initiative and leads the Council’s work in the areas of economic sanctions, finance and trade, and provides timely commentary on macro-economic and financial market developments.

Prior to joining the Atlantic Council in November 2017, Oosterveld worked at Moody’s Investors Service for almost two decades. In his last role as chief credit officer, Oosterveld was responsible for the credit strategy in the Americas across all asset classes. Among other positions, he was also chair of the company’s Macroboard, global head of Sovereign Risk, as well as management representative to the board of directors.