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Ex-CNN anchor John Defterios joins APCO Worldwide, boosting its emerging markets, sustainability expertise

John Defterios joins APCO Worldwide, bringing in-depth insight and unique perspectives on emerging markets strategies based on international and intergovernmental collaboration, with a particular focus on the Middle East, global energy issues and sustainability

APCO Worldwide’s CEO Brad Staples announced John Defterios, former CNN Business emerging markets editor and anchor, joins APCO Worldwide as a senior advisor, bringing more than 35 years of experience covering top business developments with a special focus on trade, geopolitics and energy.

“John is highly sought after at high-level meetings, as both a speaker and a moderator, by global leaders looking for his insight and perspective on pressing issues, founded on decades of experience being on the frontline covering world-shaking events,” Staples said. “With deep knowledge of critical issues impacting emerging markets, including climate change, healthcare, energy and sustainable development, John’s insight will surely be highly sought after by clients, as well as by APCO colleagues around the world.”

Based in London, but splitting his time between Europe and the MENA region, Defterios will support the development of branded content for global media platforms as APCO continues to burnish its expertise in a full range of digital client solutions.

“I have watched with great interest and respect APCO’s strategic expansion into the most relevant sectors and high-growth emerging markets over the past two decades,” said Defterios.  “The inroads it has made, especially on the Arabian Peninsula, have been impressive. This is an ideal match with a core group of like-minded leaders at APCO.”

Until recently retiring from CNN, Defterios was based in the network’s Abu Dhabi bureau since 2011, with a global brief focusing on the top business stories from emerging markets. As an award-winning journalist, Defterios established a long-standing reputation for securing exclusive interviews with high-level figures during breaking news situations, including interviews with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; King Abdullah II of Jordan; as well as Ali Al Naimi, Khalid Al Falih and HRH Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Energy Ministers of Saudi Arabia. He received The Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation award for the Advancement of Energy Journalism.

“John joining APCO Worldwide represents a unique addition to our MENA team, particularly in the Gulf countries, as he will strengthen an already deep bench that the company enjoys in terms of managing government relations with senior officials, developing advanced communication strategies for the most critical government projects, as well as actively contributing to a variety of regional and international programs,” Mamoon Sbeih, president of APCO in the MENA region, said. “I am delighted to welcome John to APCO, and I look forward to his insightful counsel.”

Defterios joins APCO at an exciting time of continued growth for the company. In May, it unveiled “.Pomelo,” a new full-service creative practice in the MENA region, as it continues to invest and bolster its market-leading advisory and advocacy capabilities. It also recently launched APCO Impact—the company’s global nerve centre, supporting and accelerating its work on sustainability and social impact—and kicked off a strategic partnership with Vector Center—a pioneer in AI-powered, real-time environmental intelligence—to help clients better anticipate, mitigate and communicate around critical environmental issues. In January, APCO acquired the Global Philanthropy Group, a consulting firm specializing in helping individuals, foundations and corporations design and implement philanthropic strategies and programs.

With decades of experience covering the most critical global business issues at CNN, Reuters and PBS, Defterios has in-depth insight and unique perspectives on emerging markets strategies based on international and intergovernmental collaboration—with a particular focus on the Middle East, global energy issues and sustainability. He further augments APCO’s advisory and advocacy capabilities and expertise, joining other market-leading experts at APCO, including Sbeih, MENA CCO Elizabeth Sen, Dubai Managing Director Imad Lahad, Abu Dhabi Managing Director Muhannad Al Badri, Saudi Arabia Managing Director Liam D. Clarke, Bahrain General Manager Jolyon Kimble, APCO Impact Global Lead Denielle Sachs, Senior Director Jennifer Butte-Dahl, Climate and Sustainability Global Lead Heather McGeory, ESG expert Julie Jack, Co-lead of the European Energy & Sustainability Practice Danuta Slusarska, healthcare expert Dr. Joyeta Ghoshal, health communications and stakeholder engagement expert Stephanie Tan, Director Elaine Yang and emerging markets specialist Nic Labuschagne.

For more than 37 years, APCO has been a trusted advisor and partner to private, public and non-profit clients as they try to identify and manage new and emerging issues, challenges and opportunities around the world. Established by Margery Kraus as a single-person operation in 1984, APCO has grown to a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with offices in more than 30 markets and experience working in more than 80 markets globally, providing in-depth advice, perceptive guidance and creative approaches for its clients.

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