Margery Kraus

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Margery Kraus is a member of the Institute for Public Relations. She is the president and a founder of APCO Worldwide, [1] a global lobbying firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. APCO specializes in lobbying for major multinationals, and is one of the largest privately owned lobby firms in the world.

Kraus specialises in providing 'strategic counsel' on issue-based communication, crisis management, market entry and corporate reputation across diverse industry groups. APCO's industry practice groups include: aviation and aerospace, education, energy, environment, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation. Kraus was an early exponent of 'corporate responsibility' and the development of public/private partnerships. [2]

Close Up

Prior to APCO, she assisted in the creation and development of the Close Up Foundation[3], a multi-million dollar educational foundation sponsored in part by the US Congress, Pew Charitable Trust and the American Express Foundation (Timothy S. Davis, Close Up's President is former senior vice president for government affairs at the American Express Company) among many others.[4] The Foundation offers weeklong government studies programmes in Washington, D.C. and works with C-Span and TIME magazine. [5] The organisation was set up in the early 70s (as Washington was besieged with protest against corruption and war):

"at a time of great conflict during the Vietnam War. Because of the growing "anti-establishment" feeling of the young generation as well as an acute awareness that young people needed more knowledge of history and civics, Close Up was created for America's youth to expand their participation in the democratic process." [6]

Israeli connections

Kraus is active on other institutional and corporate boards and committees, including Northwestern Mutual Life (trustee); The Teuza Fund (technology venture based in Israel) [7] which includes:

  • Prof. Moshe Arens formerly the Israeli Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Member of the Israeli Parliament, Ambassador to the United States and Vice President for Engineering at Israel Aircraft Industries.
  • Giora S. Meyuhas the Director of the First International Bank, formerly Economic Minister to North America-Government of Israel, Director at the National Electric Company of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and President of Gadot Petrochemical Industries.
  • Dr. Zvi Meiri an Advisor to the Minister of Defense and Vice President who was awarded two Israel Defense Prizes for the development of major weapon systems for the IAF.
  • Dr. Yehoshua Gleitman the former Chief Scientist and Director General of Israel's Ministry of Industry and Trade where he managed all of the Government of Israel's technology programs.

Teuza was set up by General Harold Johnson (Ret.) who served President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1968 as the escalation of the Veitnam War took shape. He was also a Commanding General of the US Air Force. He was Senior Vice President for Fairchild Corporation [8] which owns the Teuza Fund. Johnson is also an Executive Chairman of Sagantec Israel, Ltd., in Haifa, Israel. [9]

Teuza's strategic partners, past and present, include Intel Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, The Fairchild Corporation, Dow Chemical, Lucent and Applied Materials. [10]

Creating markets in student loans

Kraus is also a trustee of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. [11] Reynolds helped to create the private education student loan market which was defined by government regulation until Reynolds introduced the first asset-backed structure which resulted in billions of dollars in bond offerings forming a multi-billion-dollar annual capital market. [12] The market is targeted at those whose 'family incomes were just too high' to qualify for any subsidy. [13]

Lobbying for Lobbying

Kraus was also chairman of the Public Affairs Council [14] which deigns to offer advice on ethical practices related to lobbying and campaign finance;

She is a trustee of the Meridian International Center [15] which has Walter L. Cutler as president. He was previously a career diplomat in the US Foreign Service and served twice as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and as ambassador to Iran. [16] Meridian has trustees who are VP's of Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Motors Corporation, DuPont, Exxon Mobil Corporation the Bechtel Group and many more. Meridian organise exchange programs for international visitors as "an important component of U.S. public diplomacy," [17] participants in the programs include business leaders, government officials, academic experts, journalists, representatives from non-governmental organizations:

"The Special Projects Division develops and conducts customized international visitor and youth exchange programs in collaboration with U.S. government agencies, American embassies overseas, as well as other public and private sector partners in the U.S. and abroad." [18]

The goal of Meridian’s programmes is 'to advance economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.'

Kraus is also involved in the similar elite gathering at the Washington Council. [19]

In addition, she serves as a trustee of American University and sits on the advisory board of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a member of the advisory board of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University and the Council on American Politics of the George Washington Graduate School of Political Management. [20]


APCO hired Ambassador Elizabeth Jones, former US Department of State assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia, as EVP; Darren Murphy, former special adviser to the UK Prime Minister, as a director in its London office; and Cassandra Pye, former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), as SVP. [21] This is fairly typical of its staff at the higher levels.[22]

APCO are not without their critics, largely due to the sensitive nature of a lot of their work, who they work for and why. This has focused on their close involvement with Philip Morris and the concoction of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), an organisation that was covertly created by Philip Morris 'for the express purpose of generating scientific controversy regarding the link between secondhand smoke and cancer'. [23] In September 1993, Kraus sent a memo to the Philip Morris Communications Director: "We look forward to the successful launching of TASSC this fall... We believe the groundwork we conduct to complete the launch will enable TASSC to expand and assist Philip Morris in its efforts with issues in targeted states in 1994." [24]

More recently, they have come in for further criticism for their involvement with Mikhail Khodorkovsky [25], owner of the Russian Yukos oil company, who stood trial in Moscow for crimes including fraud and tax evasion. [26]

"The ads are part of an extended international campaign that began mid-2003, and are the only ones APCO is running in conjunction with the current Russia In Focus campaign, intended to raise awareness of Khodorkovsky’s “political prisoner” status and provide substantive trial news and commentary to so-called “opinion elites” — policy makers and policy influencers primarily in the UK, Brussels, Berlin and the U.S." [27]

Kraus became part of Group MENATEP's advisory board to help spin Khodorkovsky:

"At the top of the Yukos ownership structure is the holding company, Group Menatep, registered at a Gibraltar post office box. Khodorkovsky owned 28 percent of Menatep; Menatep owned Yukos Universal Limited, which owned 61 percent of Yukos. Menatep also owned the intricate web of shell companies in and outside Russia involved in the Yukos tax evasion scheme." [28]

This report further states that:

"With the advice of APCO, Yukos created the Open Russia Foundation in London in 2001 with a paltry $15 million "to build cooperation between Russia and the West." Henry Kissinger joined the board of the foundation and traveled to Moscow when the U.S. Agency for International Development signed on to a joint project with the foundation to promote "Russian democracy". (Also present at this event was George Bush Senior.) [29]
Open Russia Foundation's grants seemed aimed more at cultivating powerful friends than promoting democracy. A book of photographs of Russia by Lord Snowdon, the official photographer of the British royal family, was commissioned. The foundation also gave $100,000 to the National Book Festival, a favorite charity of Laura Bush, the wife of President George Bush... In addition to the media campaign, Khodorkovsky also pumped money into powerful and influential investment funds such as the Carlyle Group, run by Frank Carlucci, Secretary of Defense for President Ronald Reagan and a Deputy Director of the CIA during the Carter Administration. These strategic investments have reinforced Khodorkovsky's support among U.S. government and political figures. During her recent trip to Moscow, for example, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice framed the trial as a matter of "foreign investor's rights." Washington will be watching the Khodorkovsky closely, she said, "to see what [it] says about the rule of law in Russia." [30]



  1. Executive Team, accessed 2 October 2008
  2. 'Margery Kraus', APCO website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  3. Close Up Foundation
  4. Sponsors, accessed 2 October 2008.
  5. Cindy Graff Hobson and David R. Zack, 'Educating for Democracy: The Close Up Story (Excerpt)',, 1993. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  6. 'CLOSE UP FOUNDATION FOUNDER AND CEO TO RETIRE', Close Up Foundation website, 4 April, 2005. (Web archive accessed 1 May, 2009)
  7. TEUZA website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  8. 'About The Fairchild Corporation', Fairchild Corporation website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  9. 'Sagantec Company Overview',, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  10. 'Strategic Partners - Past & Present', TEUZA website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  11. Rebecca Leung, 'Who Is Catherine Reynolds?', CBS News, 24 August, 2003. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  12. 'Archived Information: Catherine B. Reynolds, US Department of Education website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  13. Loan to Learn website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  14. 'Margery Kraus Is New Chairman of the Public Affairs Council',, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  15. 'Margery Kraus', Institute for Public Relations website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  16. 'Walter L. Cutler Bio', MEPC website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  17. 'Meridian International Center', Meridian International Center website of 12 October, 2007. (Web archive accessed 1 May, 2009)
  18. 'Meridian International Center', Meridian International Center website of 12 October, 2007. (Web archive accessed 1 May, 2009)
  19. 'Washington Council', William & Mary website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  20. 'Margery Kraus', IPR website, accessed 2 October 2008
  21. 'PR Agency of the Year 2006', PRWeek, March 15 2006. (Web archive accessed 1 May, 2009)
  22. 'Senior Strategists: Trade & International Relations', APCO website of 23 February, 2006. (Web archive accessed 1 May, 2009)
  23. Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, 'How Big Tobacco Helped Create "the Junkman"', PR, 2000. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  24. 'Constructing “Sound Science” and “Good Epidemiology”: Tobacco, Lawyers, and Public Relations Firms', Our Stolen Future website, accessed 1 May, 2009.
  25. Ref needed. Ref needed
  26. 'Yukos advisers plan lobby offensive', BBC website, 31 October, 2003. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  27. 'Yukos Shareholder Behind Ads Feeding Trial News to Policy Makers', Personal Democracy Forum, 31 March, 2005. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  28. Lucy Komisar, 'Yukos Kingpin on Trial', CorpWatch, 10 May, 2005. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  29. Lucy Komisar, 'Yukos Kingpin on Trial', CorpWatch, 10 May, 2005. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)
  30. Lucy Komisar, 'Yukos Kingpin on Trial', CorpWatch, 10 May, 2005. (Accessed 1 May, 2009)