The Treasury Department appointed a new director Tuesday for its agency that targets terrorist financiers and enforces economic embargoes against Cuba (search) and other countries.

Bob Werner (search), the department's assistant general counsel for enforcement and intelligence, was named director of the Foreign Assets Control Office (search), starting Oct. 1. He replaces Richard Newcomb, who held the position for more than 17 years. Newcomb is leaving for a post at a law firm.

Werner previously was Treasury's counselor in the general counsel's office and was chief of staff at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (search). He also worked at the Justice Department, was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut, and served as associate attorney general in the state. Werner once headed the state's gaming regulatory agency.

He also was a law clerk to Supreme Court justices Anthony M. Kennedy (search) and the late Lewis F. Powell (search).

Werner will head an agency that has recently revamped its various enforcement units, and created a new office to coordinate efforts to stop the flow of money to terrorists. The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (search) was established in response to congressional criticism that Treasury needs to do a better job of tracking money.