Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Former State Secretary Hillary Clinton touted consultant as 'good friend' during Hong Kong speech

12/19 UPDATE: 3 years after Hillary Clinton shout-out, Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) held luncheon for Teneo Strategy Managing Director Nancy Bowen

On July 25, 2011, while serving as Secretary of State, top 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave a shout-out to her "good friend" during a speech in Hong Kong about how the United States could "intensify" its "economic partnership" with the Asia-Pacific region. That "good friend" worked for former President Bill Clinton in the White House, then for the Clinton Global Initiative, owned a Hong Kong based consulting firm, was later hired by Teneo - a firm co-founded by two of her fundraisers and her husband's former "body man" - and donated $6,900 to her unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

The Free Beacon recently reported that during the former NY Democratic Senator's tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton sometimes asked "underlings and staffers" to "pls print" up "lists of expensive China patterns, restaurants, and shopping destinations overseas".
"'Sorry for the delay in getting a shopping list together. It has been a busy week. Do you have an advance person here? Do you need me to make any arrangements for you? I know many of the shop owners/designers I am recommending (but not all of them.),' Nancy Hernreich Bowen said in an email to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the beleaguered wife of Anthony Weiner, in an email subject-lined, 'Hong Kong shopping.'

Bowen works for Teneo Holdings, a company tied to the Clintons and former White House counsel Doug Band. Abedin drew a $355,000 salary from Teneo while she was working at the State Department. A department inspector general report found that she had been overpaid by thousands of taxpayer dollars, findings that are now being reviewed.
However, aside from the fact that Free Beacon is one of many numerous media outlets that continue to misreport how much Abedin was paid by Teneo (which I'll address in a future story), Bowen wasn't hired by Teneo until February of 2012, nine months after Huma Abedin forwarded Clinton the email.

On May 15, 2012, Teneo announced in a press release, "Teneo today expanded its presence in Asia with the opening of a new office in Hong Kong. To lead Teneo’s Hong Kong office, Nancy Hernreich Bowen joined Teneo Strategy as a Managing Director."

"Ms. Bowen has lived and worked in Asia for over eleven years," the press release state. "Most recently, she served as a senior advisor for McLarty Associates and managing director of NHB International, a Hong Kong based consulting firm which she founded in 2001. In this role, she utilized her experience, knowledge of Asia and senior level U.S. and Asian business and government relationships to assist Asian and American businesses with their cross border business interests. She has assisted clients with Asia and U.S. trade strategy, relationship-building, issues and crisis management and public relations."

The press release added, "As managing director of the Clinton Global Initiative Asia from September 2007 to December 2008, Ms. Bowen was responsible for the planning and execution of the event, which included more than 400 of the most influential Asian business, government and civil society leaders held in December 2008. Prior to that, she was assistant to the president and director of Oval Office operations from 1993 to 2001. Her responsibilities in the White House included: managing the president’s office, where she oversaw communications at all levels with the president; directing access to the president; maintaining his priorities and schedule; and, as his longest serving senior aide, advising him on a range of issues and presidential matters."

At LinkedIn, Nancy Hernreich Bowen's resume notes that she began working for Teneo in February of 2012. Former President Bill Clinton consulted for Teneo in 2011 and Huma Abedin was secretly hired - while still working at the State Department - by the consulting firm in July of 2012.

On August 15, 2005, Brown was a guest lecturer at the Asia Institute for Political Economy where she spoke about "The Role of the Executive in the US Government" (pdf link). Her biography contains some of the same wording Teneo used in its press release.

"Ms. Nancy Hernreich-Bowen served as Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations at the White House, helping to manage the President's day to day dealings with the Cabinet, Congress, foreign officials and business leaders. Working with the Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, Cabinet Secretaries as well as heads of state and CEOs, Ms. Hernreich-Bowen represented the President's interests in the planning and execution of policy initiatives and responses to international events.

Ms. Hernreich-Bowen, who traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Latin America as a member of official presidential delegations, is now Managing Director of NHB International, a Hong Kong-based consulting firm. She assists international companies with investment, business development, product sourcing and market access needs, building on her extensive experience coordinating policy, private sector and presidential priorities and supporting trade missions, economic summits and international meetings through Asia. Ms. Hernreich-Bowen represents Kissinger McLarty Associates in Hong Kong and assists clients with interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
Just like most Teneo consultants, it's extremely difficult to find out exactly what clients Bowen represents and how she uses her U.S. government connections to help them. Due to that secrecy, it's nearly impossible to find out if there were any conflicts of interest with the State Department during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, and - as I've reported - many journalists use Teneo analysts as sources or don't mention the firm when they report on some of its known clients.

"Btw, this is an impressive list!" future Hillary Clinton presidential chair Huma Abedin told her boss when she forwarded the July 20, 2011 email from Bowen on July 25, the day of the Hong Kong speech (pdf link). And Bowen offered to call ahead and make arrangements with some of the jewelry merchants she was recommending to Clinton.

Bowen added, "Let me know what else you might be interested in shopping for and I'll make additional suggestions. See you Monday and do let me know if there is anything else I can do for you."

During her Hong Kong speech, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that "it was made possible by the U.S., Hong Kong, and Macau chambers of commerce and the Asia Society. And I thank the chamber very much on a personal level for its support of the U.S. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. I have been called the mother of the pavilion, which is actually one of the nicer things I’ve been called – (laughter) – during my very long public career."

"Hong Kong stood out then, as it does today, as a symbol of the open exchange of goods and ideas," Clinton added. "People were drawn to this place from every part of the world, even far away Arkansas, as evidenced by a good friend of ours from Arkansas, Nancy Hernreich Bowen, who is here with us today."

Clinton said she came to Hong Kong "to talk about how the nations of this region and the United States can intensify our economic partnership on behalf of ourselves, each other, and the world, and how together we can work toward a future of prosperity and opportunity for people everywhere."

Bowen also works as an "expert" for ChinaGoAbroad, and her biography at their website also continues similar wording to her Teneo biography, touting her US government connections.
"Nancy Hernreich Bowen is currently the Managing Director for Asia with Teneo Strategy, an integrated global advisory firm that provides consulting, investment banking, business intelligence and restructuring capabilities at the Chairman and CEO level across a broad range of industries and sectors. She served as Managing Director for the Clinton Global Initiative Asia from 2007 to 2008, and has lived and worked in Asia since 2001 in her capacity as founder and Managing Director of her own firm, NHBI, and as a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates. Prior to her time in Asia, she served as an Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations in the Clinton White House.

In her current role, Ms. Bowen oversees Teneo’s activities in Asia, bringing decades of experience and relationships in business and politics to support companies throughout the region. Specific expertise include, but are not limited to, public affairs, government affairs, crisis management and communications, market entry and development, identification and due diligence of joint venture partners and investment opportunities, as well as problem solving across a broad range of complex markets.

As Managing Director of the Clinton Global Initiative Asia from September 2007 to December 2008, Ms. Bowen was responsible for the planning and execution of a two day event that brought together over 400 of the most influential Asian leaders across business, government and civil society. The CGI Asia Hong Kong meeting was the first CGI meeting held outside of the United States and provided these leaders with an opportunity to discuss important global issues and to make personal, actionable commitments to help solve challenges in the areas of education, health, climate change and energy.

As Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations from 1993-2001, Ms. Bowen designed and implemented the systems that enabled the White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other parties to interact with the President. While overseeing the President’s contact with Congressional leaders and other elected officials, corporate leaders and foreign officials, Ms. Bowen had frequent direct contact with parties at the highest levels. She also traveled extensively with the president to countries throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Within the White House, Ms. Bowen coordinated daily with the White House Chief of Staff, the National Security Advisor and Cabinet Secretaries. In this capacity, she represented the President's interests in the planning and execution of his priorities. As the President’s longest serving senior aide, one of her key roles was to manage the competing demands for the President's time and attention, and to make decisions that had positive policy and public relations ramifications. She managed an extensive staff in the White House and was responsible for the budget of her office. In her capacity as advisor to the President, Mrs. Bowen was required to be well versed in domestic and foreign issues, exercised impeccable judgment and maintained absolute discretion and utmost diplomacy.

Prior to joining the White House, Ms. Bowen was the Director of Scheduling for Governor Clinton from 1985 to 1993. She currently serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.
According to a ChinaGoAbroad press release, "On 23 July 2015, the Reignwood Group and Sinopec Engineering Group signed an MOU in Beijing for the joint development of a huge new industrial park in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The park will house coal chemical plants, steel mills, shipyards and ports. Total investment for the project is expected to range between US$ 18-20bn."

"ChinaGoAbroad and TransAsia Lawyers are honored to have been appointed to provide strategic transactional advice and legal services, respectively, to the Chairman of the Reignwood Group," the press release added.

On April 16, 2013, a press release announced, "Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has announced that it is working with Reignwood Group to develop an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pilot power plant off the coast of southern China. A memorandum of agreement between the two companies was signed in Beijing on Saturday. Following the ceremony, both companies met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry during his first official state visit to the People’s Republic of China."

"The 10-megawatt offshore plant, to be designed by Lockheed Martin, will be the largest OTEC project developed to date, supplying 100 percent of the power needed for a green resort to be built by Reignwood Group," the press release continued. "In addition, the agreement could lay the foundation for the development of several additional OTEC power plants ranging in size from 10 to 100 megawatts, for a potential multi-billion dollar value."

It added, "In addition to several other green energy-related projects across a variety of industries, Reignwood Group is currently developing two large scale low-carbon resort communities, with others planned in key locations in China. Using Lockheed Martin’s OTEC technology to power a new resort will help the company to develop its first net-zero community."

According to a Reuters article published today, "China summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Beijing to protest against the U.S. administration's authorization of $1.83 billion arms sales to Taiwan and said it would impose sanctions on the firms involved, China's state news agency Xinhua reported."

"Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, who summoned U.S. charge Kaye Lee", Reuters reported via Xinhau, "described the U.S. sales authorization announced on Wednesday as going against international law and basic norms of international relations and said that they 'severely' harmed China's sovereignty and security. 'To safeguard our national interests, China has decided to take necessary measures, including imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the arms sale,' Zheng said."

As Reuters noted, "Raytheon RTN.N and Lockheed Martin were the main contractors for weapons in the sales authorized on Wednesday," but it's "not clear what impact Chinese actions might have on the firms. In 2013, Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with the Thailand-based Reignwood Group to build a 10-megawatt offshore plant to provide energy for a new luxury resort on Hainan island in southern China."

According to FEC filings, on May 7, 2015, Nancy HernReich Bowen donated $2,700 to "Hillary For America". On June 5, 2007 Bowen contributed $4,600, in total, to "Hillary Clinton for President" for the general and primary elections. And on August 8, 2008, Bowen gave $2,300 to "Friends of Hillary."

12/19 UPDATE

Three years after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton singled out her longtime friend - who used to work in the Clinton White House and Clinton Global Initiative before becoming a Hong Kong based consultant to unknown clients, and has donated nearly $10,000 to the leading Democratic presidential candidate's campaigns - in a Hong Kong speech promoting economic relations with East Asia, China's official Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) held a luncheon for the Teneo Strategy Managing Director.

At its website, a picture sourced to the foreign ministry's Department of American and Oceanian Affairs, shows the beaming Teneo Strategy Managing Director Nancy Hernreich Bowen posing with CPAFFC's president, two other executives and an unidentified person (who may be Teneo CEO Declan Kelly - the former US Economic Advisor to No. Ireland who was appointed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after raising millions for her unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign).

"President Li Xiaoling met with and held a luncheon for Ms. Nancy Hernreich Bowen, Managing Directer, Teneo Strategy (Asia) on 10th February in Beijing," CPAFFC's website announced in 2014. "President Li briefed Ms. Bowen on the work of people-to-people diplomacy CPAFFC carried out with the United States over the past years, noting that the strengthening of people-to-people exchange between our two nations can play a critical role in helping build a new type of major country relationship between China and the USA."

The website added, "Ms. Bowen expressed thanks to President Li for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with her, and she said that the closer economic and trade cooperation is conducive to the overall development of China-US relations, she was willing to provide necessary assistance. Vice President Xie Yuan attended the above-mentioned activities."

Three months later, according to the CPAFFC website, "The Sixth China-US Relations Conference, hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Texas A&M University, co-hosted by Peking University Health Science Center and the Texas Medical Center was held from May 11 to 13 in Houston, Texas, United States."

"The participants include Mr. Xu Kuangdi, vice chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and president of China-US People’s Association, Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai to the U.S., President Li Xiaolin of CPAFFC, Vice Minister Liu Qian of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Neil Bush, third son of former U.S. President George H.W.Bush and president of the Points of Light Foundation, President Michael Young of Texas A&M University, Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, Thomas Frieden, Director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Bidden sent congratulatory messages respectively to the conference," the website added.
"U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Bidden sent congratulatory messages respectively to the conference. President Obama said 'The world we live in today is a community of nations. The United States and China are dedicated to realizing a future that shines with the health of all people---one we will only reach by working together. In addressing global health challenges, America and China have a common interest of historic consequence. Together, America and China can rise to the challenges of our changing world and meet our moral obligations.' Vice President Bidden said that the cooperation between U.S. and China on global issues like infectious diseases are doing the ground work for US-China relations, and will benefit all people.

Xu Kuangdi delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the conference. He spoke highly of the great impact that the past five China-US Relations Conferences have made and highly commended President George H.W. Bush’s consistent efforts and contribution to the development of China-US relations and the growth of China-US friendship, as well as Neil Bush’s efforts in carrying on this conference forward. He also praised the great efforts that the hosting organizations---the CPAFFC and Texas A&M University have done. He pointed out that in the 21st century, the world is faced with increasing nonconventional security and global challenges. It is crucial for China and the U.S. to work together in combating the common challenges, which is pivotal for peace and progress of mankind.


During the conference, over 400 government officials, experts and business leaders attended the conference and held in-depth discussion on national preparedness of public health, emergence response, prevention and control of infectious diseases like Ebola, and the role of private sector in the global health response system. They also brought up constructive proposals on the future cooperation of China and the U.S. in relevant fields.

Before the conference opens, Xu Kuangdi, Li Xiaolin, Cui Tiankai and Li Qiangmin paid a visit to President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush at Neil Bush’s home in Houston.
Four months before her Hong Kong speech, on March 11, 2011, the U.S. State Department's DIPNOTE blog noted that "From February 25-28, Hunan Province Party Secretary Zhou Qiang visited Washington, DC to attend the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting. Secretary Zhou's visit is the first by a Chinese provincial leader under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in January concerning the establishment of a U.S.-China Governors Forum to promote subnational cooperation. The forum will serve as a platform to promote peer-to-peer exchanges between U.S. state governors and Chinese provincial party secretaries and governors and will be co-convened by the NGA and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the NGA's counterpart in China."

"Secretary Clinton greeted Party Secretary Zhou and CPAFFC Vice President Madam Li Xiaolin at the U.S. Department of State and expressed her continuing support for the subnational effort," DIPNOTE blog continued. "Party Secretary Zhou and Madam Li also met with Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Kritenbrink, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Jeff Bader."

It added, "During the NGA meeting, two other accords were signed, one between the NGA and the CPAFFC formally establishing the U.S.-China Governors Forum and the other between Hunan Province and the State of Delaware to increase business exchanges and investment promotion. With the agreement, Governor Markell hopes to increase jobs and opportunities for the citizens of Delaware by increasing exports and attracting investment from international employers."

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