The Glover Park Group

Profile: The Glover Park Group

1- Name of NGO:

The Glover Park Group

2- Brief & Mission:

The Glover Park Group, originally established in 2001, was a prominent American communications consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Founded by experienced individuals, including Carter Eskew, Michael Feldman, Joe Lockhart, and Chip Smith, who had previously served in the White House and Democratic campaigns, the company quickly gained recognition for its expertise in the field. In January 2021, the firm underwent a significant transformation by merging with Finsbury and Hering Schuppener, leading to the creation of Finsbury Glover Hering

Leaked emails from the Emirati Ambassador to Washington have revealed that the United Arab Emirates’ government enlisted the services of the Glover Park Group to support authoritarian regimes in the MENA region. The intercepted emails shed light on the UAE’s decision to fund lobbying groups in Washington, with the primary objective of promoting Al-Sisi’s government. According to the leaked correspondence published by the Intercept, the Glover Park Group was tasked with conducting research on behalf of the UAE. This move indicates the country’s concerted efforts to exert influence and shape the narrative surrounding its policies and actions in the MENA region.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Recent leaks of emails from the Emirati Ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, have brought to light the UAE’s extensive efforts to improve the image of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his government in the United States. The leaked emails reveal that the UAE allocated a substantial amount of $2.7 million to undertake this image-enhancing campaign.

As per the leaked emails, disclosed by the Intercept, the UAE strategically chose to invest primarily in lobbying groups based in Washington to advance the cause of Al-Sisi’s government. Back in 2013, Egypt enlisted the services of the Glover Park Group, a prominent public relations and lobbying firm founded by former White House and Democratic officials, to act as the public face for the Egyptian government in the American capital. The revelations shed light on the extensive and deliberate efforts undertaken by the UAE to influence perceptions and narratives surrounding the Egyptian government’s actions and policies on the international stage.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The evident connection between the group and the UAE indicates a direct relationship, suggesting that the UAE government enlisted the services of this group for political purposes. Their specific task was to improve the image of Sisi through a process commonly referred to as “whitewashing.”

5- Sources of Funding:

As per a disclosure filing from the Justice Department, a contract has been established, running until September 30, with a total value of $80,000. 

6- Activities:

The Glover Park Group, represented by Graeme Trayner, will be responsible for conducting targeted qualitative research through in-person focus groups and nationwide quantitative research through online community discussions. The research will revolve around gauging public attitudes on specific matters.

7- NGO Leadership:

Alexander Geiser is the CEO of the group.

8- Controversy:

In a September 2015 memo sent to Al-Otaiba, the Glover Park Group detailed its efforts to influence the American government and the influential “echo chamber” in Washington, comprised of think tanks, research centers, and media organizations. Their goal was to impact American policy through these channels.

During the same year, Richard Mintz from the Harbour Group, a long-time lobbyist for the UAE, sent Al-Otaiba a bill totaling $2,735,343 for the Egyptian contract.

Mintz mentioned that Glover Park Group wished to receive direct payment from the UAE, but they were waiting for legal guidance on the matter from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) lawyers. Six months later, Al-Otaiba informed Joel Johnson, the Managing Director of Glover Park Group, that the UAE had transferred $2.7 million to Cairo, constituting a significant portion of the $3 million payment later made to the firm by Egypt. Additionally, the leaked emails reveal Al-Otaiba’s efforts to improve the image of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He engaged in activities such as providing lectures to journalists and think tank personnel, advocating for the benefits of having Al-Sisi lead Egypt.

9- Contact Details:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The firm has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE governments.

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