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June 16, 2021
Press Release: Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Simone Ledeen and retired NYPD Detective Investigator Mark Black join the Gold Institute for International Strategy

PR Contact: Shana Forta

Washington, DC — June 16, 2021 The Gold Institute for International Strategy is pleased to welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Simone Ledeen and retired NYPD Detective Investigator Mark Black as senior fellows. Ms. Ledeen's extensive experience in the Middle East, at DoD and Treasury and Marc Black's long-time focus in counter-terrorism, intelligence division and computer crimes will undoubtedly add greatly to the Institute’s impressive roster of fellows as well as our work and influence globally.

Simone Ledeen is a strategic influencer of complex, long-term initiatives and plans with global impact. Through her work, Ms. Ledeen has shaped the thinking of the nation’s senior-most leaders, including Members of Congress, other U.S. government officials, and partners abroad, on matters of defense, finance, telecom, and transportation. She is a trusted collaborator leveraging vast networks and superb communication skills to achieve multi-phased program development and implementation across industries.

Ms. Ledeen has served in various U.S. Government and business leadership positions, most recently as the presidentially-appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Middle East Policy where her leadership of U.S. defense policy spanned Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Her experience on multiple oversees deployments influenced key counterterrorism activities, intelligence collection and analysis, as well as military information support operations involving cyber and disinformation, irregular warfare, direct action, sensitive special operations, and personnel recovery/hostage issues.

Ms. Ledeen’s work has also been shaped by her 20 years of experience prior to appointment with the Department of Defense. She draws on her work as Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank managing multi-national financial crime compliance; Senior U.S. Treasury Representative to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force; Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance; and as a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

She is also a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law where she advocates to foster global security and facilitate international business. Ms. Ledeen has an MBA from the Bocconi University School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree with from Brandeis University. With a strong intercultural competency having lived several years abroad, she is fluent in Italian and conversational in French, Arabic, Polish, and Hebrew.

Marc Black served 20 years with the New York Police Department (NYPD), retiring June 2020 at the rank of Detective Investigator. His assignments included:

Counterterrorism Division

Responsible for conducting security and vulnerability assessments (SAVA) and threat assessments on critical infrastructure in New York City. Areas of concentration include houses of worship, utilities, and sports/entertainment venues. Liaison with the Fire Department of New York City Explosives Unit to establish secure logistic routes and venue security of locations which utilize energetic materials. Intermediary with Federal agencies which are working with foreign-friendly nations to establish counterterrorism programs for local law enforcement. Evaluator for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in New York City.

Arson & Explosion Squad

Investigated major post blast and arson crimes associated with fire and blast fatalities in conjunction with the New York City Fire Department and federal and state law enforcement agencies to determine origin and cause. Examined post blast incidents caused by improvised explosive devices as well as explosive materials illegally obtained by individuals and criminal organizations. Investigated arsons and incendiary incidents to determine origin and cause.

Computer Crimes Squad

Investigated computer crimes and analyzed computer forensic information using accepted law enforcement techniques and technologies. Investigations: Computer intrusions/DOS/computer trespass, identity fraud, child exploitation, Internet scams, and financial crimes.

Intelligence Division

Synchronized communications of international terrorist incidents with New York City Police investigators Overseas Liaison Units. Coordinated crisis management programs through the Fusion Center with the New York City Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies, FEMA, U.S. Military, and Office of Emergency Management (New York City).


B.S. Business Management, Keene State College

Attended University of Haifa, Haifa Israel

M.S. Transportation Management, NY State University Maritime College

M.S. Security Protection, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Gold Institute for International Strategy, Washington D.C.