White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah is leaving to forge a joint venture with a former Clinton staffer for a firm that lobbies for several foreign countries.
Shah will co-lead new Ballard Partners “bipartisan” venture Ballard Media Group along with existing Ballard partner James “Jamie” Rubin.
“Companies, organizations, and industries today face increasing scrutiny from an unrelenting media landscape,” Shah said in the Ballard announcement. “Our team…will provide the strategic communications clients need to navigate these challenges and successfully deliver their message to the right audience.”
“These times call for collaboration and strategic thinking across every discipline,” said Rubin. “Working with Raj, our team will provide our clients with unique insights and value. For those looking to navigate an ever-changing landscape and communicate at the intersection of policy and politics, they need to look no further.”
Shah served as principal deputy press secretary for the White House before joining the Ballard Media team. Before that he worked at the Republican National Committee.
Rubin was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs during Bill Clinton’s presidential administration. He was also a chief spokesman for the State Department. Four Democratic presidential campaigns have used Rubin as a senior foreign policy advisor. He has also hosted a weekly PBS show and been an editor for Bloomberg News.
Ballard Partners signed a $175,000-a-month contract with the Embassy of Qatar in early 2018 to represent the interests of Qatar. In mid-2018 the group finalized a $300,000 contract to represent Mali’s interests in the U.S., securing funding, and promoting the republic as a key partner for western countries in fighting Islamic extremism and terror. In May 2017 the firm signed onto a $125,000 per month contract with the government of Turkey, according to Politico. That report stated that Ballard had taken in $3.1 million from foreign clients as of April 2018. This included the Dominican Republic. The company has also helped exiled opposition leader from Democratic Republic of the Congo Moise Katumbi.
Ballard served as a top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign and continues raising money for the re-election campaign, according to Politico. He originally backed Jeb Bush in the 2016 primary election. He previously raised money for Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns as well.
Ballard Partners domestic clients include big blue-chip companies including Sprint and American Airlines. As of April 2018, more than 60 new clients signed up with the firm since Trump took office adding to the tune of $10 million in 2017, according to the report.
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