The Washington Times - June 26, 2009, 12:33PM

Two international consulting firms founded in 2001 by the Clinton administration’s top foreign-policy officials, Madeleine K. Albright and Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, have decided to merge.

Mrs. Albright, who was secretary of state, currently heads the Albright Group, and Mr. Berger, former national security adviser, leads Stonebridge International. The new company will be called the Albright Stonebridge Group, and will be “the premier global-strategy firm helping clients navigate the intersection between business, finance, government and civil society in markets around the world,” the firms said in a statement.


The two companies, as well as The Cohen Group, founded by the Clinton administration’s other senior national-security official, former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, have been in great demand during the past eight years. Mrs. Albright and Mr. Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine, have been among the most visible and media-savvy “former people,” as Mrs. Albright likes to call them jokingly.

In October, Mrs. Albright met with The Washington Times editorial board, and Mr. Cohen is expected to do so in the near future.

The interest in Mrs. Albright’s advice and counsel is expected to increase because of her close relationship with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mrs. Clinton was Mrs. Albright’s most important supporter when then-President Bill Clinton was deciding who would be his chief diplomat in late 1996.

The links to the Obama adminstration don’t stop there. Wendy R. Sherman, a principal in the Albright Group, headed Mrs. Clinton’s transition team at the State Department, and another principal until recently, Carol M. Browner, is now President Obama’s top adviser on energy and climate change.

Mrs. Albright, Mr. Berger and former Sen. Warren Rudman, New Hampshire Republican, will lead the new firm. Ms. Sherman and H.P. Goldfield, a former assistant secretary of commerce, will be vice chairs, and former ambassador to Brazil Anthony S. Harrington will serve as CEO. Suzanne A. George, James C. O’Brien and Michael J. Warren will be principals.

“Our combined reach and capability make us the best team to deliver for companies and organizations in every region of the world,” Mrs. Albright said.

“In this changing global economy, success for growing companies and organizations requires a sophisticated understanding of current developments in challenging markets,” Mr. Berger said.

Based in Washington, the Albright Stonebridge Group will have local presence in New York, Brussels, Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi and Sao Paulo.

“The firm also advises Albright Capital Management, an emerging markets investment firm led by seasoned investment professionals,” the firms’ statement said. “Albright Stonebridge will be a significant shareholder of Albright Capital Management, as well as of Civitas Group, the leading strategic advisory firm in homeland and national security.”