November 17, 2017

U.S. policy toward Cuba continues to evolve. New regulations went into effect on November 9, 2017 that impact academic programs in Cuba. Join us for a Government Connection on November 17 at 2:00 p.m. (EST) to hear from U.S. State Department and Treasury Department officials. 

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This presentation is not for press, not for attribution, and off the record.

Government Connections are online events and are free and open to all international education professionals. If time allows, questions will be accepted via the Q&A box at the end of the presentation. However, we encourage you to submit your questions in advance through the registration process. The presentation will be recorded and made available for replay within a few days of the live event.


Jeff Braunger
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of Treasury
Jeffrey R. Braunger is a Chief in the Licensing Division at the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He has been employed at OFAC for 25 years and has worked on the Cuba sanctions program for over 20 years. His areas of responsibility include managing the teams responsible for processing applications to engage in certain transactions involving travel to Cuba, and consideration for the release of blocked wire transfers involving Cuba. Mr. Braunger has close to 27 years of government service. He has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in International Relations and an M.A. from the University of Denver's Joseph Korbel School of International Studies.

Samantha Sultoon
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of Treasury
Samantha Rollinger Sultoon serves as a senior sanctions policy adviser within the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In this capacity, Ms. Sultoon is responsible for developing sanctions policies, outreach and implementation strategies, and regulations related to economic sanctions in Cuba and Burma, as well as sanctions policy issues pertaining to the Magnitsky sanctions and the Atrocities Prevention Board. This includes working with senior officials from the Treasury Department and across the U.S. Government to develop and effectuate the significant easing of Cuba sanctions announced by President Obama in December 2014. Prior to joining OFAC, Ms. Sultoon served as an intelligence adviser in the Treasury Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis on the Economics and Finance team. Prior to joining the Department of the Treasury, Ms. Sultoon served as the senior analyst for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) in The World Bank’s Office of Global Security where she assessed political, economic, and security issues throughout the MENA region and provided regular analyses to the World Bank’s senior management. Samantha has a master's of science degree with distinction in Middle East politics, and a minor in international Jihadi terrorism, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Melissa Quartell
U.S. Department of State
Melissa Quartell has worked as the Public Diplomacy Officer in the Office of the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State since August 2016. She served as the Public Affairs Officer in Paramaribo, Suriname, from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, she worked at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, where she was a consular officer, and in Washington in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 2010, Melissa was a journalist and arts administrator in Davenport, Iowa. She is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Zack Haas
U.S. Department of State
Zack Haas is a Foreign Affairs Officer handling economic and sanctions issues in the Office of the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In his six years at the Department he has worked on economic and consular issues with Cuba, wildlife trafficking, civil society and democracy issues, and border issues with Mexico. Prior to joining the State Department, Zack worked in Ecuador coordinating international volunteers and study abroad students. Zack has a Master’s in International Affairs from the George Washington University and undergraduate degrees from Penn State.