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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

JOHN AKOURI



Considered one of America's most trusted minds on the Middle East, John Akouri is Motown born and raised in the Motor City of Detroit, an award-winning television personality, Capitol Hill Advisor and recognized civic leader. The innate knowledge he possesses of the history surrounding the lands that comprise the cradle of civilization enables him to masterfully navigate the politics that help, and hinder, how we prepare and respond to today's new threats to global peace in the Arab World. One of the most in-demand motivational and public speakers in the workplace, at conventions, and on high school and college campuses, he can be frequently seen on FOX, NBC, CBS News affiliates and the AlHurra Television Network as a Middle East Expert providing adept analysis and insightful commentary, as well as a myriad of television news and radio programs, including national newspapers and social media.

In 2016, he proudly served as Michigan Co-Chairman of the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign, securing the swing state went red winning Trump the Great Lakes state by 10,704 votes, cementing a Republican presidential victory the first time since 1988. Sharing the stage with Governor Mike Pence, Senator Ted Cruz, GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Coach Bobby Knight and an array of figures, he delivered opening remarks at campaign rallies across Michigan and emceed election eve events with Donald Trump Jr., in the Motor City and at the Air Zoo in Portage. A much sought after GOP strategist and political commentator, he honed his national election cycle scope through the years having served as a campaign volunteer for Reagan/Bush 1984; Midwest photographer for Bush/Quayle 1988 & 1992; official photographer for Dole/Kemp 1996; on the communications team for Bush/Cheney 2000; Oakland County Co-Chair for Bush Cheney 2004; Swing State Surrogate for McCain/Palin 2008; and Coalitions Co-Chair for Romney/Ryan 2012. On the eve of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, he was an honored guest at the 2017 Black Tie & Chic Gala Salute to African American Republican Leaders Inaugural Ball at The Watergate Hotel, celebrating with HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, Congressman J.C. Watts and former RNC Chair Michael Steele.

An accomplished and respected statesman who has made his mark in local, national and international affairs, he gained global prominence at the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC, where in his capacity as spokesman and chief speechwriter he worked with both the national and worldwide press corps, as well as serving as a Middle East senior advisor assisting with legislative direction relating to international relations and global foreign policy issues. In addition to his fedearl government position as congressional press secretary and communications director, he has also served on many departmental projects, working closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. State Department, U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Army and the United Nations.

Prior to leaving his congressional post within federal government as senior advisor to U.S. Representative Joe Knollenberg, ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, to run for the Michigan House of Representatives, he served as creator and executive producer of “Window to Washington”, a nationally award-winning television program that he also hosted. Returning from Washington, DC to his hometown, he ran a successful first time campaign for City Council in Farmington Hills, Michigan and was elected as the city’s first American-born Lebanese Councilman coming in as top votegetter. The youngest Member on Council, he beams with pride of his heritage as an American of Lebanese descent, and the accomplishments the Lebanese American community has achieved here in the United States. Leadership indeed runs in the family, which hails from the northern port city of Tripoli, with paternal cousin, His Grace Simon Atallah, Maronite Bishop Emeritus of Baalbek-Deir El Ahmar.

His active involvement in public affairs span the course of the past three decades, where he has been a leader in government, media and business at the local, state and national levels. With his global leadership inside the beltway, he routinely participates in high-level talks on a wide range of initiatives regarding Lebanon during meetings with key Lebanese leaders that have included: President Amine Gemayel, Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Central Bank Vice Governor Raed Charafeddine, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fawzi Salloukh, Their Excellencies, Ambassadors Farid Abboud, Antoine Chedid, Antonio Andary, Houssam Diab, Clovis Maksoud & Ali Ajami, General Michel Aoun, Director-General of the Internal Security Forces, Middle East Airlines' Adib Kassis, and American University of Beirut Presidents John Waterbury & Peter Dorman, Princess Hayat Arslan, Filmmaker Nadine Labaki, Television Personality Marcel Ghanem, Beirut Marathon Association Founder May El Khalil, of which he serves on the Board of Directors, as well as a host of other Arab World decision makers, envoys and prominent figures.

An eloquent orator, he has appeared on stage side-by-side on many occasions with His Excellency Sam Zakhem, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, he has also served as a panelist and speaker for the Washington DC-based Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Task Force for Lebanon, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, University of Michigan Flint Symposium on Syria and the Eastern Michigan University Annual Conference of the Ambassadorial and Consular Corps. Having served as chairman on the local board of the Miss America Scholarship Pageant Committee, he is very active in community affairs and currently serves on the DHS Incident Management Team, Military Grassroots Advisory Board, Wayne State University Presidential Advisory Group, Madonna University International Education Council and the International Visitors Council.

The honored recipient of the esteemed Rainbow Recognition Award, he was presented with a Special Tribute and recognition proclaimed by the Michigan Senate. An alumnus of Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, he worked as a research associate to his law professor, and as a distinguished television news intern. Named a 'Rising Star' by the Gannett newspapers, John Akouri has appeared in several commercials airing in the Detroit Television market. In addition to his many speaking engagements to students at colleges and universities, in 2013 he was asked by the UN to appear as Celebrity Emcee for award-winning composer Malek Jandali’s ‘The Voice of the Free Syrian Children’ International Freedom Tour, and this summer he will deliver the Keynote Address during the National Mexican Youth Conference in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Previously, he worked as a media consultant to former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Governor John Engler. A highlight of his career in includes covering the Papal visit of the Holy Father to the USA and receiving the Key to the City of Birmingham. Today, as a public relations and government affairs consultant, he also heads several leading business, multi-media and entertainment ventures. He is passionate in his work to raise funds and awareness to universities, charitable foundations, religious institutions, business & trade associations and service clubs throughout North America. His involvement has helped to raise much needed funds for institutions that include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Holy Land Seminary Fund, International Institute Foundation, The Consular Corps Ball, Children’s Leukemia Foundation, The Al-Kafaàt Foundation, Imam Sadr Foundation, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Fallen & Wounded Soldiers Fund, Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museum.

In 2005, he founded the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce and today continues to preside as President & CEO of the non-profit national organization. His leadership coordinates global business diplomacy and ongoing strategic client relationships and development planning for Chamber Members between Lebanon and inside the United States. He served as editor-in-chief of Lebanese Monthly Magazine, published by its parent company, the Lebanese American News Agency, Inc. During the 2006 Mid-term Election in Michigan, he was a candidate for a Wayne State University Board of Governors education post, where he came very close to winning the election with 1.3 Million votes cast for him. An eloquent orator, more recently he has been enjoying a new-found interest in live auctioneering and headlining major gala events as celebrity master of ceremonies.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">