The Sentry Mission

War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay.


The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy.

Pull back the curtain on wars, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses, and you’ll find grand corruption and unchecked greed. These tragedies persist because the perpetrators rarely face meaningful consequences. The Sentry aims to alter the warped incentive structures that continually undermine peace and good governance. Our investigations follow the money as it is laundered from war zones to financial centers around the world. We provide evidence and strategies for governments, banks, and law enforcement to hold the perpetrators and enablers of violence and corruption to account. These efforts provide new leverage for human rights, peace, and anti-corruption efforts.

Launched in 2016, The Sentry produces hard-hitting investigative reports and dossiers on individuals and entities connected to grand corruption and violence. We advocate for the use of tools of financial and legal pressure, including anti-money laundering and illicit finance measures, targeted network sanctions, criminal prosecutions, compliance actions by banks and other private companies, and asset recovery. As a result of our work, money laundering routes have been exposed and shut down, assets have been frozen, travel has been banned, and corrupt networks have been cut off from the international financial system. Through strategic partnerships with governments, global banks, and other private and public organizations, The Sentry has succeeded in creating real consequences for many of the officials and commercial actors perpetuating and profiting from war, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses. The Sentry was co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast.

Following the money that funds atrocities and crimes against humanity

In order to track and analyze how armed conflict and atrocities are financed, sustained, and monetized, The Sentry uses open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network data analysis technology, and works in partnership with local and international civil society organizations, journalists, and governments.

The Sentry’s investigations produce analytical reporting that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action.

The Sentry examines the techniques used to benefit financially from armed conflict and atrocities, including:

  • Convergence of licit and illicit systems—illicit actors conceal their operations and launder their profits through globalized systems of finance, trade, and transportation.
  • Regulatory and sanctions evasion—illicit actors find ways to adapt to and avoid international laws, sanctions, and regulations.
  • Disguised beneficial ownership—illicit actors employ increasingly sophisticated methods to disguise their true identities to avoid detection and exposure.
  • Money and commodities laundering – illicit actors launder money and commodities such as gold to disguise their criminal origins and move it through legitimate financial systems undetected.
  • Extractive industries and natural resource trafficking—illicit actors extract, tax, and sell natural resources to fund and sustain their operations.
  • Corruption and illicit financial flows—illicit actors compete violently to capture state resources and divert funds for their own personal enrichment and to finance their armed campaigns.
  • Security sector fraud and abuse—illicit actors manage state and military expenditures to fund off-budget activities with little-to-no transparency or accountability.
  • Elite financing and offshored assets—illicit actors abuse their power and position to accumulate significant wealth that is then laundered through offshore jurisdictions to evade detection.
  • War crimes and crimes against humanity – illicit actors orchestrate crimes against civilian populations in natural resource-rich territories — including enslavement, forced labor, and arbitrary arrests — as a key strategy for taking control over wealth and silencing dissent.

The Sentry Team

Some investigators and other staff are not listed for security reasons.

Brian Adeba, Senior Policy Advisor, Sudan & South Sudan

Brian focuses on conflict dynamics in Eastern Africa. His research has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He previously worked as a journalist and as a project coordinator at The Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada.

Laleh Ahmad, Senior Researcher

Laleh Ahmad is a Researcher on the South Sudan team. Her primary expertise is in the security sector and environmental crime.

Charles Cater, Director of Investigations

Charles leads the investigations team. His work has focused on the political economy of natural resource-related conflict and corruption in sub-Saharan Africa, including having served as a natural resources expert for the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea. Charles holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford.

Willem Cleven, Senior Development Manager

Willem coordinates The Sentry’s fundraising and partnerships efforts. Before joining The Sentry, Willem managed public sector partnerships at the International Center for Transitional Justice. He previously worked in Iraq and Ukraine for the French humanitarian organization ACTED.

Nick Donovan, Senior Investigator

Nick is a prize-winning journalist who, with colleagues, has exposed the finances of a Sudanese militia, the financing of the Syrian chemical weapons program, secret police involvement in Zimbabwe's diamond industry, and suspicious payments to the president of Mozambique.

David Frankel, Interim Executive Director

David has led a number of non-profit organizations and was the Finance Commissioner of New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is a lawyer and in prior roles worked in law firms and for AIG and Morgan Stanley.

Justyna Gudzowska, Senior Policy Advisor

Justyna is an attorney with over a dozen years of experience working on financial crimes issues, including as the lead sanctions lawyer at Morgan Stanley, as an expert on countering the financing of terrorism at the United Nations, and as an attorney-advisor for the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications

Greg leads all media relations, crisis response, creative production, and communications programs. His career spans work and expertise in multiple sectors, including technology, entertainment, intellectual property, the environment, arms control, human rights, and international security.

Michelle Kendler-Kretsch, Investigations Manager

Michelle focuses on knowledge management, cross team collaboration, and internal training. She specializes in using technology and data to advance investigative work. Previously, she was an investigator on the DRC team and an analyst focused on sanctions-related risk on a portfolio including Africa and Latin America.

Elizabeth Krisher, Deputy Director, Editorial

Elizabeth oversees The Sentry’s editorial and review processes, manages the production of all external products, and edits reports and communications. She has over 10 years of experience in publishing, content creation, and project management for diverse international businesses.

Jennifer Lonnquest, Deputy Director of Digital Communications and Creative Services

Jen leads The Sentry’s digital communications initiatives and oversees the organization's digital platforms. Before joining The Sentry, she worked in international development, public diplomacy, and non-profit marketing.

Sanjay Mody, General Counsel

Sanjay oversees all legal matters relating to The Sentry's investigations and policy work. He has worked with and for non-profit and government entities for more than 20 years and has expertise in illicit finance, global security and rule of law issues.

John Prendergast, Co-Founder

Michaela Taychert, Administrative Coordinator

Michaela coordinates business and administrative needs for The Sentry and provides executive support to the founding director and the operations and development teams. She previously taught English in South Korea and received her BA from UW-Madison.

Anrike Visser, Senior Advisor EU, Illicit Finance Policy

Anrike leads engagement with European governments, EU policymakers, and international financial institutions. Previously, she was a financial crime investigator at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and an investigative journalist for Deutsche Welle, The Diplomat, and other international media.

Oliver Windridge, Senior Advisor

Oliver focuses on UK and EU illicit finance policy. He is a British lawyer with over 12 years of experience practicing international human rights and international criminal law, including over seven years serving at the United Nations international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Board Members

Bonnie Abaunza, John Lambros, John Prendergast, David Frankel

Advisory Board Members

Don Cheadle, George Clooney


Special thanks to Mary Beth Goodman, former Senior Advisor, for her significant work in building the foundation of the Sentry. Special thanks also to Lee Levine, Esq., for his tireless and critical legal support.

Core Supporters

The Sentry initiative couldn't exist without the support
of the following people and institutions:

Annenberg Foundation
Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation
Bridgeway Foundation
CapCon Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Civilian Protection Opportunity Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Ford Foundation
The Giustra International Foundation
The Good Lie Fund of Tides Foundation
Humanity United
The Hunter Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Justice for Journalists Foundation
National Endowment for Democracy
Nationale Postcode Lotterij
Newman's Own Foundation
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
Open Square Charitable Fund
UK Postcode Lottery
Pittsburgh Foundation
Swedish Postcode Foundation
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Bonnie Abaunza

Carl Allen

Dietrich Ayala

Mike Bandstra

Kristen Bell

Bylo Chacon Foundation

Ann Chaitovitz

Don & Bridgid Cheadle Philanthropy Fund

George and Amal Clooney

Cynthia Cwik

Dawn DeNoon

Paul DeNoon

Terri Doyle Becks

Annie Duke

Jill Goldman and Jon Reiss

Ryan Gosling

Michael Grabow

Julie Katzman

David and Anita Keller Foundation

Kells Family Charitable Foundation

John Lambros

John Lamonica

Mikaya Family Foundation

Tammy Miller

Walter E.D. Miller Charitable Fund

Rebecca Minkoff

Sherri Nelson

Jacqueline and Breon Peace

John Prendergast

Zeke Rabkin

Rob Rotberg

Dave Sagal

Gayle Smith

Defne Tabori

Judy Taylor

Todd Wagner

Weintraub Family Foundation

Ron Willoner

Marc Winkelman

Robin Wright

Gregory Yeary

Hans Zimmer


The Sentry also offers thanks to the hundreds of people who have shared critical information in order to advance the mission.

The Sentry

The Sentry Video

We want to
follow the money and find out how mass atrocities are funded.

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For general inquiries, email us at [email protected].