Akram R. Elias has 30+ years of professional experience in the field of international relations and is the co-founder and President of Capital Communications Group, Inc. (“CCG”) an international consulting firm offering a variety of services to government and private clients in the areas of public diplomacy, cultural intelligence, strategic language services, communication strategies, and orientations to Washington, DC.
In the area of Public Diplomacy, Mr. Elias provides briefings on American government, politics, culture and society to dignitaries from around the world visiting the United States under a variety of exchange programs sponsored primarily by the U.S. Department of State. Over the years, Mr. Elias has briefed thousands of visitors on a variety of topics including, federalism, separation of powers, rule of law and independent judiciary, U.S. foreign policy process, counterterrorism and international security, democratic capitalism, U.S. economic and trade policies, democracy and civil society, lobbying, role of media in a free society, intellectual property rights, women in business and politics, first amendment freedoms and civil liberties.
In the area of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), Mr. Elias conducts seminars to promote the importance of this field in today’s global, interconnected, and asymmetrical environments. He founded the cultural intelligence division at CCG focusing on North Africa, the Near East, South Asia and Central Asia regions. In the area of Cross-Cultural Training, Mr. Elias conducts briefings, seminars, and workshops on a variety of key topics, including cross-cultural communication, cultural adjustment, cultural integration, and negotiation.
Mr. Elias who is also fluent in Arabic and French has traveled overseas as a Public Speaker/Trainer on topics such as American government and politics, foreign policy in a global environment, civil liberties and democracy building, civil society and good governance. A representative list of countries where he has been invited to speak/train includes Armenia, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Congo (Brazzaville), France, Greece, India, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Serbia, and Uruguay.
In the area of Leadership Training, Mr. Elias conducts seminars and workshops for young political leaders and social activists from around the world, especially the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and Central/South America regions. Themes include effective leadership, coalition building, youth engagement, grassroots campaigns, communication strategies, social entrepreneurship, and good governance.
In the area of Advisory Leadership, Mr. Elias serves on the following:
- Board of Advisors of the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC
- Advisory Council of Global Ties U.S., a national network of 94 communities across the United States promoting excellence in citizen diplomacy and global engagement
- Board of Governors, The University Club of Washington DC
Mr. Elias is also an advocate of Citizen Diplomacy and travels around the United States speaking to community leaders and citizen groups to the need for American citizens to become more engaged in foreign affairs and promote international understanding.
Mr. Elias is also a film producer. He has written the original treatment for a documentary by the History Channel entitled, “Mr. Dreyfuss Goes to Washington” and co-produced it with Academy Awards winner Richard Dreyfuss in 2001, and has since appeared in numerous documentaries produced for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the Public Broadcasting System in addition to international British, Canadian and German productions.
Mr. Elias is currently finishing writing a book titled “American by Choice” describing how his experience in embracing America can serve to reaffirm what makes her exceptional, a nation able to help advance the human condition everywhere. In recognition of his commitment to the American spirit of service and his dedication to the Great Experiment, Mr. Elias was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 12, 2018.
Prior to establishing CCG in 1998, Mr. Elias was a Program Officer and International Trade Consultant at Meridian International Center (1997 – 1998); Program Officer at the Institute of International Education (1996 – 1998) working on professional international exchange programs; and, a Contractor with the U.S. Department of State (1985 – 1995), accompanying delegations of foreign dignitaries from the Near East and North Africa.
Mr. Elias, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, has been a resident of the Washington, DC area since 1982. He holds a Masters in International Service from American University, a Graduate Certificate in International Finance from Georgetown University, and a BA in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. He also received specialized training in International Conflict Management at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. He and his wife Lourdes live in College Park, Maryland.