I Hustle for Consciousness – Yaya Fanusie

About this week’s episode: Sometimes, by blazing a new trail, a hustler temporarily may feel like an outsider.  But it’s by harboring awareness and a willingness to take on new challenges that a hustler finds community and becomes a leader.  Yaya Fanusie shares his story of how he pushed himself to achieve in spaces where he was often the first of his kin

About our guest: Yaya J. Fanusie is the director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF). He focuses on financial technology (fintech) and its implications for national security and illicit finance. Yaya also serves as an advisor to Archer, a nonprofit tech startup on the UC Berkeley campus.

Yaya  spent seven years as both an economic and counterterrorism analyst in the CIA, where he regularly briefed White House-level policy makers, U.S. military personnel, and federal law enforcement. In 2008, while assigned to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) he personally briefed President George W. Bush on terrorism threats, and in 2009, he spent three months in Afghanistan providing analytic support to senior military officials.

After government service, Yaya worked with a small consulting firm where he led a team of analysts working on a multi-billion-dollar recovery effort involving a global corruption ring. Later, he operated his own consulting practice training firms specializing in strategic analysis and business due-diligence.

Yaya has testified before Congress on terrorist financing issues and has led public-private sector roundtables on the topic of digital currencies and national security. He has published articles in numerous media outlets including Forbes, Coin Desk, The Cipher Brief, The Hill, CNBC.com, The National Interest, and Vox. He has been quoted for articles on cryptocurrencies in Bloomberg News, The Washington Times, and has appeared as an expert guest on CNN, Fox News and al-Hurra Television.

Yaya also is the host and producer of the Rhythm of Wisdom Podcast, a true story narrative podcast that touches on issues of Islam, national security, and counterterrorism.

Yaya received an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.

2016 article in Vox: https://www.vox.com/2016/6/22/11970280/muslim-cia-officer

2017 article in Muslim Matters: https://muslimmatters.org/2017/07/12/how-to-neutralize-the-violent-jihadist-pull/

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Listen to Yaya’s episode here or on your favorite podcast app.


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