The Williams Group

Profile: The Williams Group

1- Name of NGO:

The Williams Group

2- Brief & Mission:

The Williams Group (TWG) is a consulting firm that focuses on public policy, communications, and related areas such as government relations, public affairs, and corporate business development services.

Recent information has come to light, indicating that The Williams Group has become the tenth firm to be engaged by Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington and its ministry of foreign affairs.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

In an effort to mend its relations with Capitol Hill, Saudi Arabia has enlisted the support of two former Democratic aides. The Saudi Embassy in Washington has secured the services of the Williams Group, based in Washington, for the purpose of receiving guidance on effectively establishing connections with members of Congress and their staff. The lobbying efforts on this matter are being led by Michael Williams, the founder of the firm who previously served as a special assistant for legislative affairs during President Bill Clinton’s administration. Additionally, Jennifer Stewart, a former aide to Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), is also registered to lobby on the account. Notably, Stewart has emphasized her affiliations with the Congressional Black Caucus.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Every year, Riyadh allocates tens of millions of dollars to support approximately 100 foreign agents. Among them are prominent figures from the Republican party, yet notably absent are any former Democratic lawmakers. However, there has been a recent shift as Saudi Arabia has engaged two former Democratic aides. This strategic move aims to mend connections with Capitol Hill. This situation indicates that the Williams group might possess direct ties with the Saudi monarchy.

5- Sources of Funding:

The agreement, lasting for one year, starting from October 1, 2019, stipulates that the Williams Group will receive a monthly payment of $30,000 from KSA.

6- Activities:

In recent times, Democrats have consistently criticized Saudi Arabia. Their bipartisan endeavors have included attempts to prohibit the sale of U.S. weapons to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a move that President Donald Trump vetoed. There were also efforts to impose sanctions on Saudi officials implicated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which ultimately failed in December. Republicans highlighted this issue as a critical point during negotiations regarding the annual defense bill.

This contract is noteworthy considering Saudi Arabia’s ongoing challenges on Capitol Hill. These challenges are related to their military operations in Yemen and the killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi. The Williams Group has been enlisted to offer guidance on the optimal approach for establishing connections with members of Congress and their staff.

7- NGO Leadership:

Heading the leadership of The Williams Group is Michael Williams, who serves as the Founder and President of the firm. Additionally, the role of Managing Director is fulfilled by Latrice Powell.

8- Controversy:

The Williams Group took steps to enhance Saudi Arabia’s rapport with the Democratic party, even in light of Saudi Arabia’s substantial position as a significant oil producer and a key figure in the fossil fuel sector. It’s crucial to acknowledge that Saudi Arabia’s engagement in human rights violations introduces intricacies to its worldwide reputation.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website: https://www.thewilliamsgroupdc.com
  • Address: USA
  • Email: mwilliams@thewilliamsgroupdc.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

Through its active engagement in public relations initiatives for governments, entities associated with governmental organizations, state-linked investment funds, or individuals connected to the KSA administration responsible for serious violations like war crimes, torture, unjust imprisonments, and unlawful executions, the Williams Group has become embroiled in sustaining these unacceptable actions. As a result, the company’s connections with Saudi Arabia have led to its identification as a worrisome entity, causing its inclusion on a monitoring list.

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