FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Sean M. Thornton

Sean M. Thornton

BNP Paribas
Head of Legal Financial Security (U.S.), Group Dispute Resolution
Washington, DC, USA


Sean M. Thornton is Managing Director and Head of Legal Financial Security (U.S.) for the global financial group BNP Paribas, where he leads a team of U.S.-based lawyers who advise on economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, and related topics.  From 2005 to 2012, he was the Chief Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), where he was responsible for all legal support to the agency’s regulatory, litigation, enforcement, and other activities. Among other things, Mr. Thornton played a key role in the development of the expanded legal framework for U.S. sanctions with respect to Iran, including regulations implementing OFAC’s responsibilities under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA) and similar secondary sanctions.  From 2012 to 2014, he advised financial institutions and other clients on OFAC compliance and enforcement matters, and also on anti-money laundering requirements and best practices, at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  He is a graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center.
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