The Qatari government has hired lobbying firm Rubin Turnbull & Associates, according to documents filed with the U.S. Justice Department last week.
According to the disclosure, the firm “has been engaged to provide advice and assistance to (Qatar) in government relations, public affairs, and communications in Florida to promote commercial, philanthropic, academic, cultural and other exchanges to advance the mutual interests of Florida and the State of Qatar.”
The paperwork was filed on April 1 and covers named partners Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull as well as lobbyists Jacqueline Carmona, Erica Chanti and Jodi Davidson.
The documents also list Christian Ulvert as handling public relations and publicity related to the contract. Ulvert is a political and media consultant who runs EDGE Communications.
The new signing is part of a continued campaign by the Middle Eastern nation to bolster its image and enhance its relationship with the United States.
Before Rubin Turnbull, the Qatari government had hired four other lobbying firms this year. They include Empire Consulting, Integrated Strategy Group, Ogilvy Government Relations, Nurnberger & Associates.
According to those familiar with the push, the Qatari government wants to be recognised as an intermediary with Islamist groups in Middle East. It previously held such a role, but that ended when former President Donald Trump came into power.
A few years ago, Qatar hired a different Florida firm — Ballard Partners — to improve its standing with the Trump White House.
Rubin Turnbull & Associates is one of the most successful lobbying firms in Florida, pulling in an estimated $7 million or more last year.
The firm represents a broad range of interests. Their top clients in 2020 were HCA Healthcare, Florida Crystals, The Richman Group of Florida, Aetna, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, Molina Healthcare and Wellpath. They also represented Fortune 500s AECOM, Humana and Southwest Airlines.