Maurice Sonnenberg

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Maurice Sonnenberg is a senior American intelligence and financial advisor.[1][2] He has served as an outside advisor to five presidential administrations in the areas of international trade, finance, international relations, and election monitoring.



Sonnenberg is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (B.S.), Georgetown Law Center (J.D.), and New York University (M.S.). He served in the D.C. Air National Guard from 1959 to 1962 and as a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer.


Sonnenberg began his career as an aide to Democratic Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin, who then headed the Senate Banking Committee,[1] having previously worked for the Lyndon B. Johnson-Hubert Humphrey campaign in the presidential election of 1964, where he first met J. Bruce Llewellyn.[3] Sonnenberg has served as an outside advisor to both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations.

Intelligence and Foreign Policy[edit]

In 1994 and 1995, he served as a member of the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, and in 1996 as Senior Advisor to the Aspin–Brown Commission.[1][2][4][5][6] He was a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board under President Bill Clinton.[1][4][5][7][8]

In 2000, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Report of the National Commission on Terrorism, also known as the Bremer Commission.[1][2][4][9] According to Sonnenberg, twenty out of twenty-five recommendations from the report made it to the USA Patriot Act.[10] He has claimed the September 11 attacks could have been prevented if all the recommendations had been implemented.[11]

In 2002, he chaired the Task Force Report No. 40 of the Council on Foreign Relations called Terrorist Financing.[9] In 2003, he served as co-Chairman of the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs for the Intelligence Community.[1][2][12] He has also served as an official American observer at elections in Latin America, including El Salvador.[1][13] He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Chertoff Group, headed by Michael Chertoff.[14][15]

Sonnenberg has served as a foreign policy adviser to various presidential administrations, including:

  • 2008-2015: Secretary of the Navy Panel, Department of Defense
  • 2012-2014: Co-Chairman, National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the U.S. Intelligence Community
  • 2012: Official Observer, Mexican Federal Election Commission
  • 2011: Southwest Border Task Force, Department of Homeland Security
  • 2007-2010: Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council
  • 2006: Official Observer Team, Mexican Federal Election Commission
  • 2004-2007: Advisor, Central American Free Trade Agreement and Colombian Free Trade Agreement
  • 2002: Counter Terrorism Advisory Board, New York City Police Department
  • 2001-2002: Terrorism Task Force, Council on Foreign Relations
  • 2001-2002: Roundtable on Terrorism, Council on Foreign Relations
  • 1993-2001: President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
  • 2000: U.S. Presidential Delegation to Inauguration of President Vicente Fox of Mexico
  • 1998: U.S> Presidential Delegation to Inauguration of President Miguel Rodriguez of Costa Rica
  • 1995-1997: Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy
  • 1995-1996: Senior Advisor, U.S. Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community
  • 1994: U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Inauguration of President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico
  • 1994: Official U.S. Observer Team, Mexican elections, NDI/IRI/Carter Center
  • 1994: Official U.S. Observer Team, El Salvador elections
  • 1991-1992: Advisor, Enterprise of the Americas Initiative
  • 1990: Election Observer, Nicaragua, Council of Freely Elected Heads of State
  • 1989: U.S. Observer Team, El Salvador
  • 1984-1985: U.S. Observer Team, El Salvador and Guatamala
  • 1979-1981: Member, President's Export Council
  • 1979-1980: Member, The Task Force on International Trade of the White House Conference of Small Business
  • 1967: Special U.S. Representative, Economic Commission for Europe
  • 1965-1967: Industrial/Economic Advisor, U.S. Commission on the Status of Puerto Rico

Finance and Law[edit]

Sonnenberg has worked at the investment banking firms Bear Stearns, J.P. Morgan, and Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, and at the law firms Hunton & Williams, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and Greenberg Traurig.[1][9]

He sits on the Board of Directors of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Panay Gupte, 'Maurice Sonnenberg: A Concerned Optimist', in The New York Sun, March 23, 2005 [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Steven Aftergood, 'The Sonnenberg Phenomenon', on Federation of American Scientists blog, November 18th, 2010 [2]
  3. ^ Benjamin Weiser, 'The Last Days of Bruce Llewellyn', in The New York Times, May 7, 2010 [3]
  4. ^ a b c Clinton archives biography
  5. ^ a b Loch K. Johnson, Strategic Intelligence: Understanding the Hidden Side of Government, Praeger Publishers, 2006, p. 253 [4]
  6. ^ M.S. Grolier, Perspectives on Intelligence, Nova Biomedical, 2002, p. 7 [5]
  7. ^ Clinton archives
  8. ^ Loch K. Johnson, The Threat on the Horizon: An Inside Account of America's Search for Security after the Cold War, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 420 [6]
  9. ^ a b c Terrorist Financing
  10. ^ Roy Gutman, How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan, Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2008, p. 255 [7]
  11. ^ Paul E. Sperry, Infiltration: how Muslim spies and subversives have penetrated Washington, Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2005, p. 138 [8]
  12. ^ National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs appointment
  13. ^ Congressional Record
  14. ^ Chertoff Group Board of Advisors
  15. ^ Chertoff Group appointment
  16. ^ HEAF Board of Directors