Mark Malloch-Brown

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Lord Mark Malloch Brown (b. 1953 in Rhodesia; British national) is the former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Kofi Annan's Chef de Cabinet.

In June 2007, Gordon Brown appointed Malloch Brown "as a junior Foreign Office Minister, looking after Africa, Asia and the UN." Sir Mark was given a peerage so he could take up the job, which was previously held by Pontypridd MP Kim Howells. He resigned two years later, citing 'personal and family reasons.'[1]

In July 2010 Malloch-Brown became an adviser on geopolitical issues for Vitol, a Swiss oil company previously fined for paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. Vitol had recently entered talks with Shell Oil Products to buy their businesses in 19 African countries. [2]

In September 2010 Malloch-Brown was appointed global affairs chairman at FTI Consulting, the parent company of financial and corporate consultancy FD.[3] Among FTI's clients is Soma Oil & Gas, a company looking for oil in Somalia, are chaired by Lord Howard. When asked about his work for FTI, Malloch-Brown said, "I do not personally have any involvement in the firm's UK government relations work."[4]

Career and background

Malloch Brown[5] is said in the mainstream press to be a 'a strong critic of US policy'[6] and a 'critic of Iraq', making him a 'daring' appointment for Gordon Brown.[7] This is true in the sense that in 2006 he made a speech criticising the United States government for allowing "too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping" from critics, such as conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.[8] In the speech, Malloch Brown said the US relies on the United Nations as a diplomatic tool but doesn't defend it against criticism at home, a policy of "stealth diplomacy" that he called unsustainable.[9]

The US representative to the United Nations, John Bolton, responded to the speech by saying, "I spoke to the secretary-general this morning, I said 'I've known you since 1989 and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior U.N. official that I have seen in that entire time.' To have the deputy secretary-general criticize the United States in such a manner can only do grave harm to the United Nations."[10]

However, it is a little bit of a stretch to pretend that Malloch Brown is a plain-speaking progressive. On the contrary, Malloch Brown has had a career-long involvement in pushing neo-liberal reform, first in journalism with The Economist, and then in a series of appointments in the spin industry.

Malloch Brown started his career at The Economist, that leading organ of market-friendly ideas. After The Economist, Malloch Brown went to work at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), briefly returned to the UK to try and fail to become a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Social Democratic Party, and in 1986 was appointed to the Sawyer Miller Group an international PR firm specialising in managing elections on behalf of pro-Western candidates. ‘As head of its international division’, noted The Guardian, "the Cambridge-educated Briton turned up in Peru with helicopters to help the presidential campaign of his old friend, the novelist Mario Vargas Llosa."[11]

After resigning in July 2009 as the Labour government's foreign minister for Asia, Africa and the UN, Malloch Brown has returned once again to the private sector and his PR lobbying roots. In September he started a role as senior adviser to the Global Redesign Initiative World Economic Forum, ACOBA saw "no reason why he should not take up the appointment forthwith".[12] In 2010 he began work with two consultancies with oil companies working in Africa - Vitol and Southwest Energy - sparked questions from Labour MPs about a conflict of interest so soon after leaving his ministerial role, and the wider issue of ex-ministers taking lucrative corporate jobs closely related to their previous portfolios. Malloch Brown however had already been given approval by the advisory committee on business, which advises ex-ministers on jobs taken within two years of leaving office. [13] His roles with Vitol and Southwest Energy were approved by ACOBA who saw "no reason why he should not take up the appointment forthwith, provided that, for 12 months from his last day in office, he does not become personally involved in lobbying UK Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of the company or its clients."[14]

In April 2010 he was appointed as a consultant to Monitor, a sector regulator for health services in England. The role was noted by ACOBA who saw :no reason why he should not take up the appointment forthwith, provided that, for 12 months from his last day in office, he does not become personally involved in lobbying UK Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of the company or its clients".[14]

Malloch Brown remains in the UK House of Lords. His appointment in September 2010 as Chairman, Global Affairs of FTI, the global advisory business firm will keep him based in London. From there he will 'focus on advising clients on the risks and opportunities associated with international business development, particularly in emerging markets.' His role with FTI was approved by ACOBA who saw "no reason why he should not take up the appointment forthwith".[14]

Of his new job Malloch-Brown says: “The global economy has reached a tipping point, with Western companies under great pressure to shift their footprint towards emerging markets. FTI Consulting has built a hugely successful business around advising corporations on critical business issues. I look forward to adding my experience to the company and its client relationships to help them reach their global growth objectives.” [15]


In Bolivia Malloch Brown advised the government of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, whom historian Perry Anderson characterizes as "a Bolivian ruler so hated by the population for his neoliberal zeal and subservience to Washington that he had recently had to flee the presidential palace by helicopter, and make for Miami".[16] He also advised Corazon Aquino of the Philippines when she ran against Ferdinand Marcos.[17]


In Colombia Malloch Brown advised the rulers of the country most favoured with US military aid to crush leftist guerrillas.

Doug Stokes has catalogued the campaign and its effects:

Sawyer Miller’s Opinion polls conducted in 1987 found that 76% of all Americans thought that the Colombian government was corrupt, and 80% wanted sanctions imposed upon it. In 1991, amidst the refusal of the Colombian State to hand over the notorious drug-trafficker, Pablo Escobar, the image of the Colombian State suffered further setbacks. In response to all this, the Colombian state embarked on its own Low Intensity Conflict to win the hearts and minds of the American people. It employed the services of a PR company, the Sawyer/Miller Group, which earned nearly a million dollars in fees and expenses in the first half of 1991 alone. The PR specialists' job was to transform the perceptions of the Colombian state as a corrupt and brutal abuser of human rights, to a staunch ally of the US in its so-called “war on drugs”. The director of Sawyer/Miller’s Colombia account explained that "the main mission is to educate the American media about Colombia, get good coverage, and nurture contacts with journalists, columnists, and think tanks. The message is that there are ‘bad’ and ‘good’ people in Colombia and that the government is the good guy." In fostering these perceptions the Sawyer/Miller group conducted opinion poll surveys and focus group sessions to evaluate public opinion. In 1991 alone, Colombia gave over $3.1 million to an advertising campaign. The campaign placed newspaper adds and TV commercials aimed at American policymakers in Washington. The adds all had a similar theme. They asked the American people to remember the bravery of the Colombian military in its war against drugs, and attempted to change perceptions of Colombia from being a drug supplier to the US as drug consumer.
Media requests for interviews with Colombian government officials went through Sawyer/Miller. They steered sympathetic reporters to key government ministries and made sure that critics of Colombia’s appalling human rights record were kept away. In one instance, after a meeting with Warren Hoge, the editor of the New York Times Magazine, the Times printed a long and inaccurate story glorifying the then Colombian President, Cesar Trujillo, whose campaign had been heavily funded with drug money. The Colombian government bought the reprinting rights to the article and sent thousands of copies to US Journalists and Embassies. Sawyer/Miller group regularly use the American press to distribute pro-Colombian government propaganda with the routine production of pamphlets, letters to editors signed by Colombian officials, and ads placed in The New York Times and The Washington Post. However, it is the transformation of the armed protagonists in Colombia’s conflict that has had the most effect. In recently declassified documentation, the US Ambassador to Colombia in 1996, Myle Frechette, admits that the perception of the FARC as narco-guerrillas, “was put together by the Colombian military, who considered it a way to obtain U.S. assistance in the counterinsurgency.” The PR job seems to have worked as the US has now made Colombia the third largest recipient of US military aid in the world today. This aid is allegedly for a counter-offensive against what have been constructed as the primary narco-terrorists in Colombia, the FARC.[18]

Sawyer Miller is now part of the world’s largest PR firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

International Crisis Group

In 1993 Malloch Brown was co-founder of the International Crisis Group, which claims to be a non-governmental organisation but is mostly funded by Western governments and largely staffed by ex-government officials (often from the US). Chris Patten, the former Conservative minister, the last governor of Hong Kong, and the Chair of Crisis Group's Board of Trustees, writes:

What Crisis Group does is to fill the need that policy-makers in national governments have for smart, honest analysis and practical proposals for preventing disaster, or at least mitigating its consequences. We often find ourselves saying the things that governments would like to say but find too difficult.[19]

In other words the ICG is the vehicle for Western interests: a non governmental organisation in name, but in practice a covert cipher for western interests. After setting up the ICG, Malloch Brown was appointed as a spin doctor for the World Bank – along with the IMF and the WTO, the main vehicles of global neoliberal reform.

It is unsurprising then to find that Malloch Brown’s comments on elements of the US right do not show him to be a critic of US power. On the contrary, as he himself has noted, he is "very pro-United States ... I've an American wife, kids. I love the country." He is also close to leading neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of the Iraq war, and Elliot Abrams of the Project for a New American Century.[20] At the ICG, Malloch Brown rubs shoulders with co-Chair Thomas Pickering and his advisory board, which includes figures such as Anwar Ibrahim, Morton Abramowitz, Kenneth Adelman, Leslie H. Gelb and Stephen Solarz.

Between them this small selection of the 44-strong advisory board are linked to the following elite and neoconservative think tanks and lobby groups:

  1. Aspen Institute
  2. Eurasia Foundation
  3. International Institute for Strategic Studies
  4. American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus
  5. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
  6. Brookings Institution
  7. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  8. Council on Foreign Relations
  9. Committee on the Present Danger
  10. Freedom House
  11. Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  12. National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

The Committee on the Present Danger is a neocon lobby group first set up in the Reagan era which is currently active in the push to war with Iran. Note also the links with the neocon Israel lobby groups such as the far right Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs. Indeed Pickering is so close to the Israel lobby that he joined Ariel Sharon’s Kadima party in December 2005. Anwar Ibrahim is the West’s favourite former Malaysian politician, who, through his connection with the Foundation for the Future(the recently created democracy promotion outfit), links to the Wolfowitz World Bank scandal. Wolfowitz’s partner Shaha Riza was seconded to the Foundation following a request from Ibrahim.[21] These links hardly support the notion of a dangerous radical in the Foreign Office.

Furthermore it has been argued that Malloch Brown’s role at the UN was actually part of US manipulations of the UN. Perry Anderson states that one of the operatives in the manipulation was Malloch Brown. Anderson writes:

During his second mandate, floundering in the Oil for Food crisis, Annan was summoned by Richard Holbrooke to his residence on the Upper West Side for a secret meeting, attended by Orr, Ruggie and Mousavizadeh, and three other Democratic insiders. There Annan was enjoined to fire unwanted colleagues, and accept a more competent minder, in the shape of Mark Malloch Brown ... Without a murmur, Annan accepted him as the power in front of the throne. Holbrooke was pained that news of the arrangement leaked out. ‘The intention was to keep it confidential. No one wanted to give the impression of a group of outsiders, all of them Americans, dictating what to do to a secretary-general.’ Impressions, apparently, are everything. [22]

Views on the US, UN and neocon friends

A profile of Malloch Brown in The Guardian says:

Malloch Brown, who will leave the UN at the end of the year when Annan steps down, counts among his friends neoconservatives such as Paul Wolfowitz. It pained him to criticise Washington over Iraq. "It was a terrible time for us in the UN," he said later, "and those of us who are very pro-United States ... I've an American wife, kids. I love the country. I felt under a lot of personal stress."[23]

On 3 March 2008, Malloch Brown appeared on a panel together with Samantha Power and David Hare. The topic that the panel had to discuss was "The Humanitarian Impulse: 1968 + its Consequences". In the course of the conversation Malloch Brown stated that on occasion he had been close to the neocons, and had worked with Paul Wolfowitz in the former Yugoslavia, because "both of us believe in democracy".[24]

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Malloch Brown may have played a role in downplaying the Food for Oil scandal. The article states:

Mr. Malloch Brown, remember, was until last year Kofi Annan's deputy at the United Nations. In that position, he distinguished himself by spinning away the $100 billion Oil for Food scandal as little more than a blip in the U.N.'s good work, and one that had little to do with Mr. Annan himself. Last week, Mr. Malloch Brown was named vice president of the Quantum Fund, the hedge fund run by his billionaire friend George Soros.[25]


  • September 2010: appointed global affairs chairman at FTI, the parent company of financial and corporate consultancy FD
  • July 2010 adviser on geopolitical issues for oil company Vitol
  • September 2009: Senior Adviser to the Global Redesign Initiative World Economic Forum
  • June 2007 --July 2009: Foreign Office Minister under PM Gordon Brown
  • April 2006 -- until Kofi Annan's retirement: Deputy Secretary General
  • Jan. 2005 -- March 2006: Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
  • Campaign manager for Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, a Bolivian ruler
  • Campaign manager for Corazon Aquino of the Philippines when she ran against Ferdinand Marcos
  • 1999 -- 2005 Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)where he created the United Nations Development Group (UNDG).
  • 1996 -- 1999 World Bank vice-president for United Nations affairs,
  • 1994 -- 1996 World Bank as Vice-President for External Affairs, which included responsibility for relations with the United Nations.
  • 1986 -- 1994 lead international partner at the Sawyer-Miller Group (worked in the Philippines and Latin America)
  • 1983 -- 1986 founder and editor of Economist Development Report
  • 1979 -- 1983 Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, field operations for Cambodian refugees
  • 1977 -- 1979: political correspondent at The Economist

UN Official Biographies

Mark Malloch Brown UN official biographies:



  1. Lord Malloch-Brown resigns from Government for 'family and personal reasons' 8 July 2010, accessed 2 August 2010.
  2. The Guardian Former Africa minister Malloch-Brown advises oil firm on African expansion 8 July 2010, p.4, accessed 2 August 2010.
  3. David Singleton,Africa minister Malloch-Brown advises oil firm on African expansion, PR Week, 15 September 2010.
  4. House of Lords Wall Street Journal, 10 November 2014, accessed 10 December 2014
  5. The following section is adapted from David Miller, The Brown Deception, Spinwatch, 1 July 2007.
  6. The Times, 29 June 2007
  7. The Guardian , 29 June 2007
  8. Alec Russell, "US failing to aid the UN, says Annan's deputy", The Telegraph, 14 June 2006, accessed April 6 2009
  9. Speech by U.N. Leader Draws Angry Response From U.S., Associated Press, 7 June 2006, accessed on Fox News website, April 6 2009
  10. Speech by U.N. Leader Draws Angry Response From U.S., Associated Press, 7 June 2006, accessed on Fox News website, April 6 2009
  11. Oliver Burkeman, "The Guardian profile: Mark Malloch Brown: The thing Mark did not bring to the job was a political connection with the most vociferous US critics of the UN", The Guardian, 4 August 2006, accessed April 1 2009
  12. Eleventh Report 2009-2010 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 27 November 2014
  13. Rajeev Syal and Solomon Hughes, Former Africa minister Malloch-Brown advises oil firm on African expansion, The Guardian', 8 July 2010, p.4, accessed 2 August 2010.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Twelfth Report 2010-2011 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 3 December 2014
  15. FTI FTI Consulting Appoints Lord Malloch-Brown as Chairman, Global Affairs, press release, 7 September 2010, accessed 15 September 2010.
  16. Perry Anderson, "Made in USA", The Nation, 15 March 2007, accessed 1 April 2009. See also Gerry Sussman, "Our Brand is Crisis: Exporting neoliberal spin", Spinwatch, 23 May 2007, version placed in web archive 21 January 2008, accessed in web archive 1 April 2009.
  17. "Mark Malloch Brown", United Nations Secretary-General website, accessed April 1 2009
  18. Doug Stokes, ‘Perception Management and the US Terror War in Colombia’, ZNet, June 07, 2002, version archived in web archive 10 Feb 2007, accessed April 1 2009
  19. Jan Oberg, The International Crisis Group: Who Pays the Piper? Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Spinwatch, 15 April 2005
  20. Oliver Burkeman, "The Guardian profile: Mark Malloch Brown: 'The thing Mark did not bring to the job was a political connection with the most vociferous US critics of the UN", The Guardian, August 4, 2006, accessed 1 April 2009
  21. Mickie Ojijo Wolfowitz-Riza juicy scam story for WB loanees' Kenya Times, 8 May 2007 .
  22. Perry Anderson, 'Our Man', London Review of Books, 10 May 2007.
  23. Oliver Burkeman, "The Guardian profile: Mark Malloch Brown: The thing Mark did not bring to the job was a political connection with the most vociferous US critics of the UN", The Guardian, 4 August 2006, accessed April 1 2009
  24. Statement made on 3 March 2008, ICA, London.
  25. Axis of Soros, Wall Street Journal (Accessed 24 September 2007).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Lord Malloch-Brown Parliament.UK, accessed 10 December 2014