BLT on Former Ambassador Robin Raphel

FW: Secretary of State in Islamabad, Pakistan ...Image by via Flickr

The Blog of Legal Times has been tracking the news on lobbying disclosures concerning former Ambassador Robin Raphel who is a member of the team of Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative to the Af/Pak region.  Ambassador Raphel is currently Senior Coordinator for Economic and Development Assistance.
From last week:
January 07, 2010 | State Department Official Lobbied by Former Employer
Robin Raphel, the State Department’s nonmilitary aid coordinator for Pakistan and a former lobbyist for Pakistan, attended meetings to help that country craft lobbying strategy until shortly before her new position was announced last summer. Now, new lobbying disclosure reports show her former firm contacted her regarding Pakistan within a month after the announcement.

A filing submitted to the Justice Department this month by lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates reports that the firm, which has a $700,000-a-year contract to represent Pakistan, e-mailed Raphel on Sept. 2 regarding “ROZ legislation” – economic development legislation giving the president authority to establish “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” (ROZs) in Pakistan’s frontier area with Afghanistan.

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From last November:

November 06, 2009 | State Department Official Worked on Behalf of Pakistan Immediately Before Taking Job

Newly filed lobbying disclosure documents show that Robin Raphel, the State Department’s nonmilitary aid coordinator for Pakistan, attended meetings to help Pakistan craft lobbying strategy less than a week before her government appointment was publicly announced.

Raphel worked for lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates until July 31; her State Department job was announced Aug. 5. Cassidy has represented Pakistan since May. Cassidy’s latest disclosure filings, submitted to the Justice Department Oct. 30, show Raphel attended more than 40 meetings on Pakistan’s behalf in the two months before she left at places including the State Department, and Capitol Hill, though it doesn’t specify who she met with.

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Robin L. Raphel is a career diplomat who served as Ambassador to Tunisia (1997-2000).  In August 1993, during the Clinton Administration she was named the first Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs (1993-1997). Her Wikipedia entry says she retired from the State Department in 2005 after 30 years of service.