US group signs $7.5M deal with Abu Dhabi

WASHINGTON: A group called the US-Emirates Alliance LLC, headed by new Harbour Group senior counselor Richard Mintz, recently signed a three-year, multimillion contract to manage a public diplomacy and communications program on behalf of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

WASHINGTON: A group called the US-Emirates Alliance LLC, headed by new Harbour Group senior counselor Richard Mintz, recently signed a three-year, multimillion contract to manage a public diplomacy and communications program on behalf of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mintz, who was not immediately available to comment, was until recently a partner with Brunswick Group.

Funded and managed by the government of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, the US-Emirates Alliance will receive at least $2.5 million annually through December 31, 2009, to manage a US-focused outreach program with an annual budget of at least $5 million.

"The objective will be to improve bilateral [diplomatic and security] relationships," according to a filing with the US Justice Department.

Activities covered by the contract may include setting up meetings with policy makers, the media, think tanks, and other academic and public policy experts; development of communications strategy and messaging for media interviews, speeches, fact sheets, and other materials; facilitation of meetings between Abu Dhabi officials and US policy makers; and Internet-based advocacy and other forms of grassroots outreach.

According to the contract, the program will be overseen by US-Emirates Alliance LLC president Richard Mintz, who will manage subcontracts with US-based strategic communications firms, freelance consultants, foreign policy experts, and others. The Brunswick Group could not immediately be reached for comment.

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