The Washington Group

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Washington Group (TWG) is a lobbying, public relations and government relations firm owned by the PR firm Ketchum. Ketchum is, in turn, part of the communications conglomerate the Omnicom Group. TWG was founded in 1997 and purchased by Ketchum, becoming part of the firm's Washington DC office, in 2001. [1]

In November 2008, TWG announced plans to "merge with Omnicom-owned sister firm Clark & Weinstock," and to operate "under the Clark & Weinstock brand." TWG "will continue to work closely with Ketchum," after the merger, according to The Holmes Report. [1]

TWG's website states, "The Washington Group's team of professionals has been assembled with bipartisanship as a cornerstone. We employ a top-down strategy directed to leaders of both political parties supported by strategically educating members of Congress, administration officials and staff at all levels." [2]

Services TWG offers include lobbying, legislative tracking, crisis management, "creating and managing coalitions," "writing legislative and regulatory language," conference organizing, political positioning, "Grassroots/Grasstops," issue campaigns and advertising, and media tracking. [3]


TWG's clients include Boeing, Bridgestone/Firestone (famous for its disintegrating tires), Kodak, Microsoft, and the E-Fairness Coalition, which represents retail outlets including Wal-Mart in their campaign to ensure that internet vendors like pay the same taxes as bricks-and-mortar outlets. [4] Other clients include the 9-11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism. [5]

In November 2005, the government of Panama signed a $375,000 deal with TWG, "to push for a free trade agreement and improve relations with the U.S." O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported, "TWG plans to drum up support for a [Free Trade Agreement] in part by creating a Panama Congressional Caucus, preparing testimony, organizing conferences, building coalitions, writing position papers and monitoring media." [6]

Also in late 2005, the government of Bangladesh signed a six-month, $330,000 contract with TWG, to "open doors at the senior levels of major U.S. corporations such as Bechtel, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Wal-Mart to interest them in projects of importance to the People's Republic of Bangladesh." Molinari, who heads the Bangladesh account, said her goal is to "dispel misconceptions about alleged human rights abuses, corrupt government practices and Islamist militancy." In addition to business relations, TWG will work to promote military-to-military collaboration, debt relief and a U.S. visit by Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The firm is hoping that Zia will address a joint session of Congress, "a rare honor, which in turn would stimulate high visibility media opportunities." [7]


In 2001, Ketchum hired former Republican congresswoman Susan Molinari as TWG's chair and CEO. [8] Other personnel include: [9]

  • John D. Raffaelli - a founding partner and former chairman
  • Rita M. Lewis - principal
  • Kevin D. Allen - principal
  • William J. Burke - principal
  • Debra S. Barrett - Senior Vice President
  • Carlos E. Bonilla - Senior Vice President
  • David Crane - Senior Vice President
  • Missy Edwards - Senior Vice President
  • Kimberley J. Farmer - Vice President
  • Meredith L. Gilbert - Legislative Affairs Associate
  • S. Steven Karalekas
  • Paul Lobo - Vice President
  • Anthony G. Marken
  • Marissa Mitrovich - Director of Government Affairs
  • James A. Noone - government relations and issues before the U.S. Congress, with an emphasis on defense matters
  • Eugene Patrone - Senior Vice President
  • Tonya M. Saunders - Senior Vice President
  • Harry A. Sporidis - Senior Vice President
  • Richard L. Sullivan - Senior Vice President
  • Fowler C. West - General Counsel

Contact information

1401 K Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005 Phone: 202.789.2111
Fax: 202.789.4883
Email: contact AT (replace "AT" with @)

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Clark & Weinstock Merges with Ketchum's Washington Group," The Holmes Report (sub req'd), November 16, 2008.

External resources

External articles