The Trump administration’s top sanctions chief Sigal Mandelker has resigned and will return to the private sector, the US Treasury secretary said Wednesday.
Mandelker, an attorney by trade, has served as the Treasury’s undersecretary for counter-terrorism since 2017, leading the Trump administration’s aggressive sanctions campaign targeting US adversaries.
Mandelker in particular oversaw the resumption of crippling economic sanctions on Iran following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. The US also imposed sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, as well as on Russian entities and individuals for interfering in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Mandelker, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, has spoken about the US Treasury’s role in freezing assets of the Nazi regime in the 1940s and support given by the US government to help Jewish children escape at the same time her parents were hiding as children in Eastern Europe.
In a statement Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised Mandelker as a “fierce advocate for effectively leveraging our powerful economic tools to make an impact for a safer world.”
He said Mandelker helped the Treasury Department play “an increasingly central role in national security matters.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mandelker hinted to Mnuchin over the summer that she wanted to return to the private sector.
The report said that Mandelker does not have concrete plans, but will step down in the coming weeks to spend more time with her family.
A Department spokesperson said Mandelker will be replaced by Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich.