Ballard Partners’ Washington, D.C. operation picked up another major client this week: Mali.
The West African nation signed a one-year, $300,000 contract with that will see Ballard Partners promote them as “a close working partner of key western countries in the struggles against Islamic extremism and the war against global terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda.”
The firm will also spread awareness of Mali’s peace efforts to the American public and attempt to secure funding for the republic via the Millennium Challenge Corp., a federal foreign aid agency set up by Congress in 2004.
The contract, effective July 1, comes amid a string of terrorist attacks within the nation of 14.5 million people. Recent months have seen the Mali military partner with French, Nigerian, Chadian, Mauritania and Burkinabe forces to fight terrorism within the Mail’s borders. Those operations have been funded in part by the United States, as well as the European Union and Saudi Arabia.
Firm President Brian Ballard chaired the Trump Victory organization in Florida during the 2016 presidential campaign. After Trump’s election, Ballard Partners expanded its operations to Washington, picking up more than $3.5 million in deals with major Capitol Hill clients, including Amazon, Sprint and Uber.
Though Mali is the ninth foreign government to sign a contract with the firm, and is likely not the last, Brian Ballard said “FARA-registered clients are not going to be an emphasis of our firm, and we’re going to emphasize when we do that work more of an advisory practice that an advocacy practice.”
That means the foreign governments represented by the firm can expect plenty of help navigating the intricacies of dealing with the Trump Administration, but Ballard Partners isn’t planning to take a hands-on role when it comes to pushing policies beneficial to those nations through Congress.