Cohen tapped for Treasury anti-terrorism post

President Barack Obama will nominate David Cohen to lead the government effort battling terrorism with financial sanctions, the White House said Monday.

Cohen will replace Stuart Levey, who has served since 2004 as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes. Cohen had been Levey's deputy.

Levey, who has said he will leave his post in February, was one of the few holdovers from the administration of George W. Bush.

Cohen's nomination must be approved by the Senate for his new post. He was confirmed by the Senate in May 2009 to be Treasury's assistant secretary for terrorist financing, the No. 2 job in the department's anti-terrorism effort. Before joining the administration, Cohen had been a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised Levey for his work and vowed that the administration would not waiver in the fight against terrorism.

"When Stuart came in, he agreed to stay for six months and it's been two years," Geithner said in his statement. "David came to Treasury with well-established outside expertise and has worked at Stuart's side for the past two years."