WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, former Obama Administration officials Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally and Mr. Nick Rathod, as well as global business leaders and political strategists Ms. Rina Shah, Mr. Varun Nikore, and Mr. Ferhan Hamid, launchRed Fort Strategies, a public affairs and government relations firm.
“I’m delighted to lead a diverse and impressive team whose deep bipartisan political background exemplifies both Washington DC and the United States,”stated Executive Chairman and co-founder Ambassador Thummalapally. “We are looking forward to helping international and multinational companies gain a strong foothold in our nation’s capital.”
With decades of corporate business and bipartisan government experience, this Asian American-owned firm is built on the realization that expert advisors and political influencers are necessary to connect and guide companies to Washington DC. Red Fort Strategies offers public affairs, government relations, economic development, digital strategy and multi-national corporate advisory services.
As the relationship between the U.S. and Indo-Pacific and Middle East nations continues to grow, Red Fort Strategies has the background and experience in assisting entities engage with policymakers, federal and state governments, as well as the Asian American community who represent close to one trillion dollars of market opportunity.
“Red Fort Strategies is not your typical government affairs firm,”added co-founder Varun Nikore. “We are filling a much needed void in Washington – the nexus of international expertise, political connections, and business understanding, and our commitment is to help companies across the world partner with peers and state and federal governments to achieve their strategic goals.”
The founding partners of Red Fort Strategies are:
Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally:As Executive Chairman and co-founder of Red Fort Strategies, Ambassador Thummalapally leads the firm in its mission to provide the highest value of government affairs services to its clients. Ambasssador Thummalapally previously served as Executive Director of SelectUSA (2013-2017), a government-wide foreign direct investment program led by the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. After a successful career in the private sector spanning three decades, President Obama appointed him Ambassador to Belize in 2009, where he served until 2013. He was the first U.S. Ambassador of Indian origin in history.
Mr. Nick Rathod: Mr. Rathod has nearly two decades of experience as a recognized leader in political, governmental, and non-profit sectors. He served as founder and Executive Director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), designed to provide public policy support to state lawmakers across the country. Prior to SiX, he served as the first Assistant Director of Intergovernmental & International Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He also worked as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama-Biden Transition Team. In these roles, Mr. Rathod served as President Obama’s liaison to states, municipalities, and U.S. territories.
Ms. Rina Shah: A strategic consultant, media commentator, and millennial entrepreneur based in Washington DC for over a decade, Ms. Shah has been nationally recognized as an astute businesswoman with a strong streak of political activism. Prior to launching Rilax Strategies – a boutique firm specializing in government affairs, political consulting, and strategic communications – Ms. Shah served as a senior aide to two Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives and has been a top strategist on two U.S. Presidential campaigns. She regularly appears onPBSandMSNBCand is a contributor to publications such asThe HillandForbes.
Mr. Varun Nikore: Mr. Nikore’s background encompasses nearly three decades of experience in government, policy, and international trade. Mr. Nikore served as Senior Vice President-International for TriPolus, a London-based facilitator of international business and emerging markets. Mr. Nikore also served as a strategic advisor to domestic and foreign companies in global business development, marketing, and international offsets focused on assisting aerospace and defense suppliers in engaging in the U.S. marketplace and establishing themselves in the U.S. supply chain. Mr. Nikore served in the Clinton-Gore administration, as well as having served as a member of several Boards in the state of Virginia. He is a recognized political strategist having focused on Asian Americans in the political process for several decades.
Mr. Ferhan Hamid: Mr. Hamid has 23 years of leadership in both the public and private sectors. He is a dynamic, proven executive who most recently served as CEO and co-founder of INADEV, a cutting edge digital technology firm. Within five years, he led INADEV from start-up and grew it to attaining multi-million dollar annual revenue through a mix of government and commercial business. Mr. Hamid was also a partner in a national law firm focusing on government affairs and public finance. He also served as a Director at leading investment banking firm FBR Capital Markets, Inc. in Washington, D.C. Prior to his work in the digital and private sectors, Mr. Hamid spent 13 years in public service, which included being Managing Deputy Comptroller for the City of Chicago.