23 High-Ranking Officials in Biden Administration All Came from the Same Shadowy Firm

President Biden's policy advisers largely come from a shadowy firm called WestExec. Among the 23 high ranking Biden advisers from WestExec (from left to right): U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a co-founder and managing partner; U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, principal; CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen, principal; U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, principal; National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, principal; and Assistant U.S. Attorney General, National Security Division, Justice Department Matt Olsen,  principal. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Soohee Cho/The Intercept/Getty/AP

By Kyle Becker | 6 July 2021

BECKER NEWS — Many of the highest-ranking members of the Biden administration came from the same shadowy firm. It is a relatively new name among revolving-door power brokers in Washington D.C., which makes it all the more surprising.

Founded in 2017, WestExec describes itself as a “diverse group of senior national security professionals with the most recent experience at the highest levels of the U.S. government. With deep knowledge and networks in the fields of defense, foreign policy, intelligence, cybersecurity, international economics, and strategic communications, our team has worked together around the White House Situation Room table, deliberating and deciding our nation’s foreign and national security policies.”

WestExec Advisors gets its name from “West Executive Avenue,” which the official site says is “the closed street that runs between the West Wing of the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. It is, quite literally, the road to the Situation Room, and it is the road everyone associated with WestExec Advisors has crossed many times en route to meetings of the highest national security consequence.” […]

Meet the Consulting Firm That’s Staffing the Biden Administration

WestExec represented major corporations throughout the Trump years. Now it’s in the White House.

By Jonathan Guyer and Ryan Grim |  6 July 2021

THE INTERCEPT / THE AMERICAN PROSPECT — From its headquarters just blocks from the White House, a small, high-powered team of former ambassadors, lawyers, and Obama appointees has spent the past few years solving problems for the world’s biggest companies.

Less than six months into the Biden administration, more than 15 consultants from the firm WestExec Advisors have fanned out across the White House, its foreign policy apparatus, and its law enforcement institutions. Five, some of whom already have jobs with the administration, have been nominated for high-ranking posts, and four others served on the Biden-Harris transition team. Even by Washington standards, it’s a remarkable march through the revolving door, especially for a firm that only launched in 2017. The pipeline has produced a dominance of WestExec alums throughout the administration, installed in senior roles as influential as director of national intelligence and secretary of state. WestExec clients, meanwhile, have controversial interests in tech and defense that intersect with the policies their former consultants are now in a position to set and execute.

The arrival of each new WestExec adviser at the administration has been met with varying degrees of press coverage — headlines for the secretary of state, blurbs in trade publications for the head of cybersecurity — but the creeping monopolization of foreign policymaking by a single boutique consulting firm has gone largely unnoticed. The insularity of this network of policymakers poses concerns about the potential for groupthink, conflicts of interest, and what can only be called, however oxymoronically, legalized corruption. …

The firm describes one of its chief selling points as its “unparalleled geopolitical risk analysis,” now confirmed by the saturation of its employees in positions of power. WestExec has also succeeded in getting tech startups into defense contracts and helped defense corporations modernize with tech; it worked to help multinational companies break into China. […]

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