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archive.defensenews.com
September3,2013

ClintonAlliesJoinBushAlumToFormNewConsulting
Group
ByZACHARYFRYERBIGGS
Consultinggroupsareroutinelyaplacewhereformerpublicservantsareputouttopasture,alaststop
toconcludecareersbuiltonseniorgovernmentpositions.Butagroupofformerseniorofficialsis
buildinganewfirm,BeaconGlobalStrategies,whileretaininganadditionalgoal.
Theyallwanttogobackintogovernment.
Partoftheconfidenceinfuturepublicservicemaystemfromacombinationofsignificanttitlesand
relativeyouth,pairedwiththefactthatmostofthefoundersofthefirmhavetiestoformerSecretaryof
StateHillaryClinton,whomaybeapresidentialfavoriteheadingintothe2016electionifshedecidesto
run.
ClintonslongtimespokesmanPhilippeReinesandonetimenationalsecurityadviserturnedAssistant
SecretaryofStateAndrewShapiroareteamingwithJeremyBashandMichaelAllentolaunchthe
group.BashspentyearsaschiefofstaffatboththeCIAandPentagonforformerDefenseSecretary
LeonPanetta,acloseClintonally.Allen,theloneRepublicaninthegroup,hasalongstanding
relationshipwithBash.ThetwoworkedtogetherinavarietyofroleswhileAllenwasaWhiteHouse
stafferforPresidentGeorgeW.BushandasstaffdirectoroftheHousePermanentSelectCommitteeon
Intelligence.
Wehaventstartedthisinawaythatalotofothershave,whichisthattheyvehadtheirlastbigjobin
governmentandthentheywanttosailoffanddosomethingalittlebiteasier,alittlebitlowerkey,Bash
saidinaninterviewalongsidetheotherthreecompanydirectors.Werehighlymotivatedandhighly
energeticinthatweveallspentthebetterpartofthelastdecadeingovernment,mostlyinthenational
securityarena.Intermsofourexperience,wetakeabackseattonobody.
Togethertheyhavequietlysetuphttp://beaconglobalstrategies.com/"alt=""title=""target="_blank">a
consultinggroupbuiltonprovidingadvicetocompanies,primarilydefensecontractors,focusedon
internationaldefensebusinessaswellascyber,althoughtheirfirstclientwasBashsformerboss,
Panetta.
Butdespitetherelativesecrecyithasmaintained,thegrouphasalreadyoutpaceditsprojectedclient
list,whichnowsurpassesadozen,andspentpartoflastweekmeetingwithanarchitecttogoover
plansfornewofficespacesettobereadyinNovember.Beaconwontnamethecompaniesonthatlist
becauseofnondisclosureagreements.
Wevetalkedtofolksaroundtownabouthowtodothis,anditsalwaysgetattention,getyourwebsite
up,Reinessaid.Wedecidedtogoadifferentroute.Wewantedtowalkthewalkbeforewetalkedthe
talk.
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ThefirmstartedtocoalesceinAprilbutdidntgetfullyoffthegrounduntilAug.6,thedayafterAllenleft
hisjobinCongressandofficiallyjoined,helpedbyseedfundingfromClaudeFontheimofFontheim
International,anotherconsultingfirm.Theotherthreedepartedtheiradministrationpositionsearlierin
theyear.
Reinesacknowledgedthathavingachancetoworkmoretypicalhoursandtoseefamilywasadraw.In
theirnewspace,oneoftheofficesisbeingconvertedintoaroomfortheircombinedsixkidstoplay.
Buildingafirmwhilethatfirmsprincipalsmightwanttoreturntogovernmentcreatesitsownobstacles,
suchasthepoliticsofcertainclients.ThefirmssecondhirewasaformerstafferforMichelleObama
whoseprimaryroleisnowtovetnewbusiness.
Mostconsultingworkthesedayscomesfromthelargestdefensecontractors,namesthatarewell
knowntoallinthenationalsecurityarenaandunlikelytosetoffalarmsinthosecircles,Richard
Aboulafia,oftheTealGroup,said.
Andthereisopportunity,fortherightfirm.
Itscrowded,butifyouhavegoodpeopleandyouhavestarpower,youcanmakeanameforyourself,
Aboulafiasaid.
Still,ifoneisconcernedaboutoptics,consultingcomeswithcertaininherentproblems,hesaid.
Ifyouregoingintogovernmentandyouresuperconcernedaboutconflict,youwouldntestablisha
consultancy,hesaid.Andifyouretryingtoavoidthebadguys,youhavetobeecumenicalbecause
thatsalargegroup.
Beaconhasalreadyturneddownclientsandwontworkforforeigngovernments,Reinessaid,and
despitetheinterestinfuturegovernmentjobs,theprincipalsarentsimplybidingtheirtimeforanoffer,
alludingtothepresidentialelectionsforwhichClintonmaybeacandidatein2016.
Intermsofgoingbackin,Ithinkweallwantto,butwealsoknowthatlifedoesntnecessarilyworkout
socutelythatyouhavetoworryaboutthreeyearsfromnow,hesaid.Itsnotthatsimple.Were
thinkinglongterm.
Therealsoisapushtostayinthenationalsecurityspace,whilepromotingbipartisanship.
Theotherimportantpartofthisisthebipartisannatureofit.IworkedforeightyearsforPresidentBush,
andthelasttwoyearsfortheRepublicanParty,Allensaid.Everybodywevetalkedtohasalmosta
senseofreliefontheirface.TheyregladthatwevegotbothRepublicansandDemocrats.
Helpingtofosterthatkindofcollaborationisagoalforthenewgroup,Bashsaid.
Bipartisanshipandnationalsecurityhavelonggonehandinhand,butrecentlythathasntalwaysbeen
thecase,butweretryingtoreestablishthatimportanttraditionofbipartisanshipinnationalsecurity,he
said.
Andtowardthatend,newbloodiscriticalbecauseoftheradicalshiftsinthenationalsecurityapparatus.
Since9/11,noareaofgovernmenthaschangedmorethanthenationalsecurityarena,hesaid.New
agencies,obviouslynewdepartments,DNI[directorofnationalintelligence]didntexist,DHS
[DepartmentofHomelandSecurity]didntexist.Defenseandintelligencespendinghasgoneup
significantly,andnowwereseeingprioritizationofthoseresources.Noonewhowasingovernmentin
the80soreveninthe1990s,Idontthink,canfundamentallyunderstandthewaythecurrentnational
securityagenciesoperate.
Thegroupisbeingsetuptofocusonseveralhotareasinnationalsecurity:internationalsales,potential
verticalintegrationinthedefenseindustry,andcyber.
ButthefirmisclearthatitwillhelponlywithitemsthatalignwithUSpolicy.
WewanttobesurethatwhatcompaniesaredoingisconsistentwithUSnationalsecuritypolicy,to
beginwith,Bashsaid.
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Andsincethegrouphasnoplanstodoanylobbying,thathelpwillbeconcentratedinstrategicthinking,
suchashowtohandleacomplicatedweaponssalespictureintheMiddleEast,Shapirosaid.
Thepoliticalcurrentsareobviouslyofgreatconcerntoalotofdefensecompanies,butitsnotasif
theyregoingtoturntoustohelpchangetheadministrationsmindonamajorpolicyissue,hesaid.
Whattheywanttoknow,istheywanttounderstandwhattheimplicationsare:Whatarethepotential
outcomes?Howdoweplanourbusiness?Howdowemeasurerisk?
Andincyber,theyseeachancetohelpcompaniesbothintermsofunderstandingthecomplexitiesof
securityandpolicy,aswellasthecyberbusiness.
Wecanfeelpeoplecomingtousgrapplingwiththis,tryingtounderstandtheimplications,Allensaid.
Everyoneisobsessedwithtryingtofigureoutwherethecybermarketisheading.

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