APCO Strengthens Geopolitical Advisory Offer, BOOSTs China, Supply Chains & National Security Expertise

by | Oct 13, 2021

APCO Worldwide is deepening its trailblazing Geo-Commerce team and establishing a new Global China Practice to further strengthen its ability to help clients navigate a host of mission-critical geopolitical issues, CEO Brad Staples announced today.

Teresa Lu will lead APCO’s new Global China Practice, a central pillar of the firm’s Geo-Commerce offer and a significant new dimension to the firm’s China business. Lu, who will be based in Washington, D.C., and returns to APCO after leading East Asia and China Government Affairs for Walmart Inc., will lead the U.S.- and Europe-based Global China team of 25-consultants who advise global CEOs on their China market strategy, and support leading Chinese enterprises expand globally. The Global China Practice complements APCO’s strong on-shore business in China, which under the chairmanship of James McGregor and leadership of Anne Wang, boasts more than 25 years of experience supporting multinational clients on the ground in China from offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In an additional move to strengthen its on-shore China team, Bruce Fu was appointed managing director of APCO’s Beijing office, after previously serving as co-lead of APCO’s global Technology practice.

“Geopolitics is cutting to the heart of every global business today,” Staples said. “Clients are looking to APCO for sophisticated, joined-up counsel on issues ranging from trade, supply chains and litigation, to ESG, reputation management and advocacy.”

Under the leadership of James Robinson—who formerly led APCO’s businesses in Shanghai and Hong Kong—APCO’s Geo-Commerce team helps clients anticipate, negotiate and lead through high-stakes geopolitical situations, cross-border business disruption, and the politicization of global commerce. APCO pioneered the fields of Business Diplomacy and is a recognized counselor to corporate leaders with diverse global interests and stakeholders.

APCO’s Geo-Commerce team also added six new senior leaders with decades of diverse experience and insights related to international business and geopolitics—with these additions, the firm forecasts it will double the size of its Geo-Commerce business by 2023.

The new team members include:

  • Charles Boustany, a six-term former U.S. Congressman who served as co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group and focused heavily on trade promotion;
  • Richard Burn, who was the UK’s Trade Commissioner in China and Hong Kong after leading corporate affairs for Diageo and establishing a China-focused advisory business in the late 1980s;
  • Richard Harrington, who was a UK business minister with responsibility for UK’s industrial strategy;
  • Ambassador Declan Kelleher, who served as Permanent Representative of Ireland to the EU and Irish Ambassadors in Beijing for more than eight years;
  • Pamela Passman, who led global Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Microsoft and previously legal and corporate affairs for Microsoft across Asia; and
  • Mike O’Rielly, a former Commissioner for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, where he reviewed a host of national security and technology matters.

“With Teresa, James and our other new counselors, APCO is doubling down on its commitment to provide integrated, cross-market support to clients who face unique and challenging situations at the intersection of commerce and geopolitics,” Staples said.

These leaders supplement APCO’s International Advisory Council, which includes more than 150 recognized global leaders, including policy experts, business and industry leaders, former elected politicians, academics, renowned journalists, diplomats and nonprofit pioneers.

“We are seeing unparalleled C-suite demand for joined-up geopolitical and cross-border advisory services,” Robinson said. “The Global China Practice is the next step in scaling our Geo-Commerce offer and in helping clients anticipate, navigate and lead through high-stakes geopolitical situations, cross-border business disruption, and the politicization of global commerce.”

For more than 37 years, APCO has been a trusted advisor and partner to private, public and non-profit clients as they try to identify and manage new and emerging issues, challenges and opportunities around the world. Established by Margery Kraus as a single-person operation in 1984, APCO has grown to a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with offices in more than 30 markets and experience working in more than 80 markets globally, providing in-depth advice, perceptive guidance and creative approaches for its clients.

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