Brussels (September 25, 2014) – Sir Graham Watson, former member of the European Parliament (MEP) and former leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament, joined APCO Worldwide today as a member of the firm’s International Advisory Council (IAC), founder and CEO Margery Kraus announced.
“Sir Graham’s distinguished career in the European Parliament allows him to bring tremendous political and policy insights to our clients’ opportunities and challenges,” said Kraus. “We are very excited to have him join our International Advisory Council.”
Watson was first elected to the European Parliament in 1994 and was the first Liberal Democrat MEP to be elected in the UK. As an MEP, he represented the South West of England for 20 years. He was a member of the Committee for Economic & Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy and also served on the Budgets Committee for five years. He served as chairman of the Committee on Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs from 1999 to 2002. Watson was also elected as leader of the European Parliament’s Liberal Democrat group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), in 2002. During his tenure, the ALDE grew to become the largest third party in the European Parliament. Most recently, Watson was on the Foreign Affairs Committee in addition to serving as a member of the European Parliament’s delegations to China and chair of its delegation to India. He was elected president of the European Liberal Democrat party in November 2011. Watson was knighted in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours that same year.
“I am delighted to join such a distinguished group of former public servants, business leaders, nonprofit leaders and academics on APCO’s International Advisory Council,” said Watson. “I have been impressed by APCO’s extensive record of positive and impactful engagement in public and global affairs and I look forward to working with APCO’s clients to help them engage effectively with the European institutions.”
Watson will work closely with APCO’s Brussels team, led by managing director, Claire Boussagol. “Sir Graham’s counsel and insights are an invaluable addition to our public affairs offering across the EU,” said Boussagol. “Since opening in 1995 our Brussels office has successfully addressed some of the most complex stakeholder engagement and public affairs challenges in Europe. Our diverse team, with consultants from most European nationalities, includes former journalists; policy advisors; lawyers; and corporate communication, business and NGO experts. We are confident that, with Sir Graham’s contribution, we will continue to offer clients the very best European public affairs solutions.”
In addition to his decades of public service, Watson authored a large collection of works with analytical perspectives on EU politics and democratic governance. He joins an experienced team of statesmen and world leaders on APCO’s IAC, including the following:
- Eduardo Aguirre, former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra
- Don Bonker, former U.S. congressman and senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
- Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former member of the European and Netherlands Parliament
- Dan Glickman, former U.S. congressman; former U.S. secretary of agriculture
- Aleksander Kwasniewski, former president of Poland
- Lalit Mansingh, former foreign secretary of India
- Bill Richardson, former U.S. energy secretary; former governor of New Mexico
- Andrés Rozental, former Mexican ambassador to the United Kingdom and Sweden
- Sten Tolgfors, former Swedish minister for Defence