Ambassador Jim Smith Joins The Cohen Group as Senior Counselor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013 / PRNewswire – The Cohen Group announced today that Ambassador Jim Smith, the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will join the firm this week as a Senior Counselor.

“We are honored and delighted to add Ambassador Smith to our very strong team,” said firm chairman William S. Cohen, who served as Secretary of Defense under President Clinton as well as for 24 years in the House and Senate.

During his tenure, Ambassador Smith helped to strengthen U.S.-Saudi business relations across all sectors, resulting in nearly 400 U.S. companies exporting to the Kingdom for the first time and a doubling of non-defense U.S. exports to the Kingdom.

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Smith served from 2002-2009 in a variety of executive positions with Raytheon involving corporate strategic planning, aircraft manufacturing and international business development.

Preceding his time in the private sector, Ambassador Smith served in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years. Trained as a fighter pilot, he logged over 4,000 hours of flight time in F-15s and T-38s. He served around the world in a variety of operational assignments and flew combat missions from Dhahran AB during Operation Desert Storm. He commanded the 94th Fighter Squadron, the 325th Operations Group and the 18th Fighter Wing. In addition, he served in a variety of staff assignments involving coalition partners and served as Air Force Chair and Professor of Military Strategy at the National War College. During his final assignment at U.S. Joint Forces Command, he led Millennium Challenge, the largest transformation experiment in history. He was promoted to Brigadier General in October 1998 and retired from the Air Force in 2002.

Ambassador Smith was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Class of 1974 and received the Richard I. Bong award as the Outstanding Cadet in Military History. He received his M.A. in History from Indiana University in 1975 and is also a distinguished graduate from the Naval War College, the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.

Ambassador Smith is a valued addition to The Cohen Group’s growing Middle East practice group which is led by Senior Advisor Danny Sebright, who is also President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.

Ambassador Smith also joins a number of senior leaders in the firm with deep experience in the Middle East and around the world.  In addition to Secretary Cohen, these include:

  • General Joseph Ralston, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
  • Ambassador Marc Grossman, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan;
  • Ambassador Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to NATO and Greece;
  • Admiral James Loy, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard;
  • Ambassador Jeff Davidow, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela, and Zambia;
  • Lord George Robertson, former NATO Secretary General and Defense Minister of the United Kingdom;
  • General Paul Kern, former Commander of the Army Materiel Command and the Senior Adviser for Army Research, Development and Acquisition;
  • Lt. General Joe Yakovac, former Director of the Army Acquisition Corps and Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology;
  • Lt. General Harry Raduege, former Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and Commander of the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations.

About The Cohen Group:

The Cohen Group is comprised of more than 60 professionals with decades of combined experience working in top-level positions in Congress, the White House, the State Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, other federal agencies, and in European and Asian governments, international organizations and the private sector.

With offices in Washington, London, Beijing, Tianjin, and New Delhi, The Cohen Group provides its clients the insights needed to better understand and shape the business, political, legal, regulatory, and media environments in which they operate. This includes both developing strategic business plans to help clients achieve their objectives and actively participating with clients in the execution of those plans. The Cohen Group practice groups include Aerospace & Defense; Homeland Security; Middle East; China; India; Telecommunications & Information Technology; Energy & Resources; Transportation & Logistics; Health Care & Life Sciences; Financial Services & Investment; and Real Estate, serving clients in North America, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa and Latin America.

The Cohen Group also has a strong strategic partnership with DLA Piper, an international law firm with over 4,200 lawyers and 71 offices in 30 countries throughout the world.

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