Off Hill Strategies

Profile: Off Hill Strategies

1- Name of NGO:

Off Hill Strategies

2- Brief & Mission:

Off Hill Strategies operates as a lobbying firm. The primary objective of Off Hill Strategies is to influence the political proceedings in support of clients, advocating for reduced government intervention and safeguarding fundamental constitutional liberties. Recent disclosures have brought to light that the D.C. embassy of Saudi Arabia retained the services of Off Hill Strategies during the period encompassing the latter stages of the election cycle through the transition phase.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

The Saudis aim to preserve their influence within the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Trump era, hoping that the Republican-led Senate can effectively thwart any legislative measures that might be detrimental to their interests, such as bans on arms sales or the withdrawal of troops from Yemen.

Riyadh has entered into agreements with companies that are perceived to have close ties to the Republican Party. Shortly prior to the November presidential election, the Saudi Embassy engaged Off Hill Strategies, a firm managed by a couple with an extensive background in conservative politics, for a fee of $75,000 to engage in lobbying activities on their behalf until January 2021. When approached for a statement, Jennifer Baird, the legal counsel for the firm, acknowledged the arrangement but declined to elaborate on its efforts for Saudi Arabia.”

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Off Hill Strategies is shaping a Saudi perspective in Washington through its lobbying efforts, highlighting its active engagement with the Saudi monarchy to achieve political objectives and reinforcing its connections with the Saudi royal family.

5- Sources of Funding:

In 2018, the Saudi Arabian government allocated over $30 million for lobbying endeavors, as reported by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. In the year of 2020, the expenditure has amounted to $5 million, and a substantial portion of this expenditure has been directed towards Off Hill Strategies.. 

6- Activities:

The agreement between KSA and Off Hill Strategies commenced in late October, coinciding with Biden’s lead over Trump in the majority of national polls. The contract specifies a monthly payment of $25,000 and extends until January 18, which is two days before Biden’s scheduled inauguration.

As per the terms outlined in its contract, Off Hill’s lobbying activities are primarily directed at bolstering the Embassy’s engagement with Congress and further enhancing the bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America. An additional lobbying disclosure report indicates that Off Hill played a role in aiding Saudi Arabia by gathering information pertaining to the year-end omnibus legislation.

7- NGO Leadership:

Tripp Baird is the founder and principal of Off Hill Strategies, LLC.  

8- Controversy:

The Saudi lobby has assembled a cohort of lobbyists, including former members of Congress, over the course of several years. These lobbyists often portray the conflict in Yemen as a humanitarian endeavor.

As an illustration, on January 20, 2022, Tripp Baird from Off Hill Strategies circulated a letter to congressional offices that shifted blame onto Houthi rebels to justify the escalation. Byrd drew a connection between a news conference where Ned Price, a spokesperson from the State Department, denounced Houthi attacks, using this as a basis to rationalize their substantial and disproportionate response. Their email stressed that the Iranian-backed Houthis were the ones extending the suffering of the Yemeni populace.

Byrd concluded the communication by portraying Saudi Arabia as resolute in its commitment to establish enduring peace in Yemen. However, the day following this communication, Saudi Arabia launched an airstrike on a detention center in Saada, resulting in the tragic death of 91 civilians, including three children who were playing in a nearby field.

 9- Contact Details:

  • Website:http://www.offhillstrategies.com
  • Address:USA
  • Email:  tripp@offhillstrategies.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The involvement of Off Hill Strategies with the Saudi Arabian government entails challenging tasks. Particularly, these responsibilities center on representing an autocratic regime recognized for its ongoing neglect of fundamental human rights norms. This connection has led to the firm’s inclusion in a list of entities under examination due to their connections with the Saudi government.

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