Akram R. Elias has more than 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 awareness, strategic language services, media and communication strategies, and orientations to Washington, DC.
Mr Elias was installed as Grand Master of Masons of the District of Columbia on December 8, 2007 and ended his term in office on December 13, 2008. He is also a frequent speaker on various educational aspects of Freemasonry at Lodges and Grand Lodges around the world.
In the area of Public Diplomacy, Mr. Elias, who is also fluent in Arabic and French, 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. His most recent workshops/studies in the cultural intelligence arena focused on Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia Syria, and Yemen. Mr. Elias also provides workshop training and briefings on the subject of cultural intelligence.
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). Themes include effective leadership, coalition building, youth engagement, grassroots campaigns, communication strategies, social entrepreneurship, and good governance.
In the area of Civic Engagement, Mr. Elias is a member of the Board of Governors of The University Club of Washington DC, member of the Dean’s Council for the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC; and, member of the Advisory Council of GlobalTies, a national network of 94 communities across the United States promoting excellence in Citizen Diplomacy. Mr. Elias is 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, and the Public Broadcasting System in addition to international British, Canadian and German productions. He is currently working on a book titled American by Choice with the hope that his experience as an immigrant who embraced the Great Experiment can serve to reaffirm what makes America exceptional, a nation able to help advance the human condition everywhere.
Prior to establishing CCG in 1998, Mr. Elias, a Lebanese-born American citizen, 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 holds a Masters in International Service (American University, Washington DC); a Graduate Certificate in International Finance (Georgetown University, Washington DC); and, a BA in Government and politics (University of Maryland, College Park MD).