WASHINGTON — The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists said Tuesday that former Financial Action Task Force executive secretary Rick McDonell will be taking over as the trade association's executive director.

McDonell will be filling a new role at ACAMS and is joining the association after serving as executive secretary at FATF since 2007. FATF is an international "policy-making body" for anti-money laundering standards.

"In my previous role with FATF, I saw and admired the important global role ACAMS plays in providing a focal point for private and public sector communication, which is an essential element in tackling money laundering and terrorist financing," McDonell said in a statement.

While at FATF, McDonell is credited with creating a standardized country assessment "methodology" that helped examine the effectiveness of FATF standards after implementation.

"AML cannot succeed unless the community works with all parts of the profession," John Byrne, executive vice president at ACAMS said in a statement. "Rick's global government background is essential for ACAMS to meet this goal."

As executive director, McDonell will lead ACAMS efforts to expand relationships with governments around the world. Key to that effort will be developing a standing committee made up of regulators and law enforcement official whose aim will be to improve communication between the public and private sectors and provide advice on laws and regulations in the 160 jurisdictions served by ACAMS.

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