Gilliland & McKinney International 

Profile: Gilliland & McKinney International 

1- Name of NGO:

Gilliland & McKinney International 

2- Brief & Mission:

Gilliland & McKinney International Counselors LLC operates as a law and policy company with expertise in international trade, agriculture, and global political matters, headquartered in Washington D.C. The firm delivers an array of strategic advisory solutions, encompassing government affairs, public policy guidance, dispute resolution, litigation, and negotiation support.


Recent information has come to light indicating that this firm engaged in lobbying activities on behalf of the UAE with the specific aim of addressing Al-Jazeera. In April 2019, the UAE Embassy retained the services of Gilliland and McKinney International Counselors for lobbying efforts pertaining to Al-Jazeera.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

In their efforts to end the blockade on Qatar, the countries including UAE laid out a set of demands, with the closure of Al-Jazeera being a primary requirement. Following the imposition of the blockade, a lobbying struggle emerged within Washington. The Emirati lobby initiated an intense campaign against the TV channel and AJ+, a widely recognized media platform in the United States that notably covered the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the US media. The UAE aimed to designate Al-Jazeera as a foreign agent representing the Qatari government’s interests under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). In April 2019, the UAE Embassy enlisted the services of Gilliland and McKinney International Counselors to conduct lobbying activities related to Al-Jazeera.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The apparent link between the company and the UAE implies a clear association, implying that the UAE government engaged the firm’s services for political objectives.

5- Sources of Funding:

It has also come to light that Akin Gump, a law and lobbying firm based in the UAE, compensated Gilliland & McKinney International Counsellors with a payment amounting to $12,000.

6- Activities:

Furthermore, Gilliland & McKinney have undertaken measures that involve “activities in support of the goals of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.” They have held meetings with and provided donations to several prominent Senators, including Chris Coons and Jeff Merkley, as well as prominent figures in the House such as Steny Hoyer and Adam Smith. 

7- NGO Leadership:

JOHN R. GILLILAND holds the position of a partner within the company, Gilliland & McKinney International Counsellors. Meanwhile, Reuf Bajrovic serves as the Senior Policy Advisor at Gilliland & McKinney International Counselors LLC (GMI Counsel).

8- Controversy:

It is quite astonishing to observe that Gilliland & McKinney made contributions exceeding $3,000 to Congressman Antonio Delgado in 2019, and their ongoing frequent interactions with him concerning US-UAE relations raise concerns about the firm potentially functioning as a conduit for the UAE government to advance their agenda.

9- Contact Details:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

It has been substantiated that this company engaged in lobbying efforts on behalf of the UAE, involving payments to a senator and lobbying against Al-Jazeera. Consequently, the firm has garnered a reputation that led to its blacklisting.

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