Our Team

Our Team


Kenneth Close is the founding partner of The Quincy Group and a specialist in U.S.-Saudi business and government relations.  He brings over three decades of investment banking, private equity, international business development and government relations experience to the firm.

Mr. Close comes from a long line of educators, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, and businessmen who have served in the Arab Middle East since the mid-nineteenth century. He is the fourth generation of his family born in Lebanon and the fifth generation to have lived, studied, and worked in the Middle East. He enjoys broad and deep relationships there in part as a result of his family’s unique history in the region.

Mr. Close began his career in finance with Merrill Lynch where he focused on cross border transactions in the Middle East and Latin America. In 1990, he began working as a strategic advisor to the Saudi government and to companies doing business in the Kingdom.  In 2005, he took on the added responsibility of Senior Policy Advisor to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal when he was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.

Ken graduated from Duke University with an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, in Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy. He serves on the boards of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Vision Africa’s Lion Watch, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) and The Last Animals Foundation. He resides in Washington D.C.

ELIZABETH CLOSE – Managing Director

Elizabeth Close is a Managing Director of The Quincy Group and leads our financial practice. She has spent 25 years in international business and finance. She began her career in international business on the Japan desk at Merrill Lynch, advising pension funds, banks, and insurance companies on investments in U.S. capital markets. She later went on to start an Asia Pacific desk for L.F. Rothschild.

Ms. Close then managed business development for AmeriCares, an international humanitarian organization. While at AmeriCares, she directed programs in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda, and former Soviet states. Ms. Close was also a segment producer for a business show about technology at CNN. Most recently, Ms. Close was a founder of Quincy’s affiliated broker dealer. She holds a dual BA in International Relations and Political Science from Brown University and a Master’s in Behavioral Econmics with distinction from the London School of Economics.


Ambassador Cook has been a Senior Advisor of The Quincy Group since 2010 and is the founder of The Ballard Group LLC, an international business consulting firm. She served as a long-time U.S. ambassador (Africa and the Middle East) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, twice over a 32-year diplomatic career. Ambassador Cook was the Chairman of the Board of Lonrho PLC – a London listed conglomerate with two dozen companies across Africa – and served on the BOD of both the Corporate Council on Africa and the Angola-US Business Council. She also served a full term on the ATK Alliant Corporate Board, and various privately held firms in Africa and the Middle East. Cook is now a Senior Advisor to GardaWorld Federal Services with a principal focus on the Middle East/South Asia, and Africa.

Cook is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses, is an elected member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was educated at the University of Virginia, in France, and at Harvard University. She speaks French, Arabic, and Swahili.

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