Celina Realuyo is Professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University where she focuses on US national security, illicit networks, transnational organized crime, counterterrorism, cybersecurity and anti-money laundering and counter threat finance issues. As a former US diplomat, international banker with Goldman Sachs, State Department Director of Counterterrorism Finance Programs, consultant and professor at the National Defense, George Washington and Joint Special Operations Universities, she has over two decades of international experience in the public, private and academic sectors. She speaks regularly in English and Spanish on "Managing US National Security in 21st Century," "The 3 R's: Responding to Risk with Resourcefulness," "Following the Money Trail to Combat Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption," "Combating the Digitalization of Illicit Networks in the Americas," and "The Impact of COVID-19 on Transnational Organized Crime in the Americas." Professor Realuyo is a regular commentator on global affairs for CNN en Español, Foreign Policy, Reuters and Univision and testifies regularly before Congress on national security, foreign policy, terrorism and crime issues.
Throughout her career, Professor Realuyo has been a trusted strategic advisor to the most senior leaders in US government, military, business, and academic circles on international issues. As a professor of national security at the National Defense University since 2007, she has educated hundreds of top US and foreign military and civilian leaders. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, she returned to government service to apply her international banking skills to the financial front of the war on terror. She served as the State Department Director of Counterterrorism Finance Programs in the US Secretary of State's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in Washington, DC. She co-chaired the Terrorist Financing Working Group and managed a multimillion-dollar foreign assistance program to safeguard financial systems against terrorist financing. Under her stewardship, the US delivered training and technical assistance to over 20 countries across four continents (including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, for over 1800 foreign counterparts, and her team received an "A-" from the 9/11 Commission for their efforts to combat terrorist financing. Prior to returning to Washington, Professor Realuyo was a private banker in London with Goldman Sachs International providing strategic wealth advisory services to the most prominent families in the world. Previously, she had a distinguished career as a US Foreign Service Officer serving as a political officer abroad in Madrid, Panama and the US Mission to NATO, Brussels. In Washington, she served at the highest levels of government, in the State Department Operations Center, National Security Council's White House Situation Room, and as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and Women in International Security. She has been decorated twice by the Colombian government with the Colombian War College (Escuela Superior de Guerra - ESDEG) Military Medal and Colombian Armed Forces' "Faith in the Cause" (Fe en la Causa) Medal. Professor Realuyo has traveled to over 70 countries and speaks English, French, and Spanish fluently, and is conversant in Italian, German, Portuguese and Arabic.