Waking Up to Reputation Laundering as a Mechanism for Transnational Kleptocracy

March 30, 2022
10:00 am - 11:15 am

This webinar discussion was held virtually via NED’s YouTube channel.



Matthew T. Page, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tena Prelec, University of Oxford

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, University of Oxford

Jodi Vittori, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Moderated By

John K. Glenn, International Forum for Democratic Studies


About the Event

As experts argue in a series of essays from the International Forum, Waking Up to Reputation Laundering as a Mechanism for Transnational Kleptocracy, reputation laundering and transnational kleptocracy inflict a serious threat to democracy around the world.  In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, democracies have begun to respond by proposing unprecedented sanctions of oligarchs living abroad who have begun to step down from long-standing positions of prestige as board members for businesses and cultural institutions. Yet the challenge of reputation laundering and transnational kleptocracy is not specific to Russia. How can we extend the lessons learned from the current crisis to develop a full-spectrum response to the challenge? How can democracies ensure this extraordinary momentum results in lasting reform and not partial or temporary solutions?  Matthew T. Page, Tena Prelec, Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, and Jodi Vittori discussed how reputation laundering serves as a key mechanism of transnational kleptocracy.


About the Participants

Matthew T. Page is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and nonresident fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja. He has taken major consultancy roles and co-authored Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2018). Until recently, Page was the U.S. intelligence community’s top Nigeria expert at the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He has also served on the National Intelligence Council, at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Tena Prelec is an academic focusing on corruption studies and an expert in South East European politics. She is currently a Research Associate (Kleptocracy & Anti-Kleptocracy) at DPIR, University of Oxford, a Fellow at the Centre of Advanced Studies at the University of Rijeka, as well as a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter working on a project that seeks to explain the linkages between Russia’s foreign policy and illicit financial flows (IFFs). She is furthermore a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) and Region Head at Oxford Analytica.

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is professor of the International Politics of Africa at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; Official Fellow of St. Peter’s College; and a Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin. He is co-editor of African Affairs, the journal of the Royal African Society, and co-director of the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on African Governance.

Jodi Vittori is an expert on the linkages of corruption, state fragility, illicit finance, and U.S. national security. She is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the research and policy manager for Transparency International’s Defense and Security Program, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Previously, Vittori was a senior policy adviser for Global Witness, and she served in the U.S. Air Force, advancing to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Her overseas service included Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, and she was assigned to NATO’s only counter-corruption task force. She was an assistant professor and military faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the National Defense University.

John K. Glenn is senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, the research and analytical section of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Glenn has an extensive background working at the intersection of international affairs and democratic development, most recently as policy director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). He oversees and develops the Forum’s cross-cutting analytical and research activity in areas including transnational kleptocracy, the integrity of the information space, emerging technology, and sharp power and authoritarian influence. Prior to joining USGLC, Glenn served as director of foreign policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.


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