Albright Stonebridge adds to senior team

Commercial diplomacy and strategic advisory firm, Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) has appointed four new executives with extensive experience in international business, national security, diplomacy, public affairs, public policy and communications.

Madeleine K. Albright, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, said: “Along with my fellow Chairs, Samuel Berger and Carlos Gutierrez, I am delighted to welcome Phil Gordon, David Hathaway, Joel Velasco and Nicole Willet-Jensen to our team of commercial diplomats. They bring a wealth of talent and experience, as well as a proven track record in the areas of international business, national security, and public affairs..”

“The addition of these accomplished individuals further expands the capabilities and insight ASG provides to our clients as they assess challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace. We advise clients on how best to navigate the intersection of business, government, and civil society in markets around the world, and these four outstanding professionals provide unique expertise and insights that will be invaluable to the organizations ASG serves,” added the former Secretary of State.

Each of these new members of ASG brings a deep understanding of issues and opportunities in important markets around the world:

Dr. Philip Gordon joins ASG as a Senior Advisor working in both the Middle East and Europe practice areas. He most recently served in the White House on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region. As the most senior White House official focused on the greater Middle East, he worked closely with the President, Secretary of State, and National Security Advisor on issues including the Iranian nuclear program, Middle East peace negotiations, U.S. relations with the Gulf States, and bilateral relations with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Previously,. Gordon served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where he was responsible for 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia as well as for NATO, the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Earlier, Gordon served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and as Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, where he was responsible for NATO, the EU, the OSCE, France, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. He currently serves as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

David Hathaway joins ASG as a Senior Vice President in the firm’s China and East Asia practice, after more than two decades working in the region as an advisor on government affairs, regulatory issues, and business strategy for public and private sector clients. Hathaway joins ASG from his position as Managing Director and Vice President of ICF International’s China operations, where he oversaw the launch of ICF’s commercial consulting services in China and directed technical and management consultancy services for a broad range of clients. He was also the Director of Business Development for Asia Pacific, leading ICF’s growth initiatives across China, and East and South Asia.

Hathaway has led efforts in support of bilateral collaboration between the U.S. and Chinese governments, working to address energy, environment, and climate change challenges. Within the private sector, Mr. Hathaway’s clients have included many of China’s largest private enterprises in the industrial, commercial, and aviation markets, as well as leading multinational firms operating in Asia. His public sector clients have included a wide variety of U.S. government agencies and multilateral organizations.

Joel Velasco returns to ASG as a Senior Vice President, where he draws on extensive experience working in Latin American in both government and corporate roles. Previously, Velasco was Senior Vice President for external relations, including investor relations and public affairs, at the biotech and renewable products company Amyris. Prior to Amyris, he was Chief Representative in North America for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), where he led UNICA’s efforts to expand biofuel and sugar markets.

Earlier, Velasco was a Managing Director at ASG’s predecessor firm, Stonebridge International. Previously, he served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil and as a personal aide to Vice President Al Gore in the White House.

Nicole Wilett-Jensen has joined ASG as a Vice President, bringing a wealth of experience in both public policy and international affairs to the firm’s client service in Africa.  Wilett-Jensen most recently served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), where she managed SFRC oversight of U.S. policy on global health and Africa. She also served twice on the National Security Council at the White House, and was the Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.

Previously Wilett-Jensen served in a variety of other capacities at the U.S. Department of State, including in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where she managed portfolios in Africa and South Asia, and on assignment to several U.S. missions in Africa, including in Uganda and Zimbabwe. She has participated in numerous international election observation missions in Africa, as well on State Department task forces on Iraq and Haiti.