IMG_1911A World of Experience that Unlocks a World of Possibilities

The Global Situation Room®, Inc. (GSR) is a consulting firm specializing in innovative internationalization of companies and organizations.  GSR utilizes diplomatic tradecraft to develop unrivaled market research, precision strategic communications solutions, & crisis management informed by experience addressing major global challenges.  Former American diplomat and White House Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen leads GSR.  The firm draws on the exceptional experience of several former ambassadors and government leaders.  Whether you are looking for expert international insights, seek sophisticated strategic communications counsel, or in need of comprehensive crisis management skills, GSR offers you world-class capabilities that change the paradigm of what’s globally possible.

An Entrepreneurial President in the Age of Extremism

By: Brett Bruen

time-logo-ogEntrepreneurship will ultimately erode much of the energy fueling ISIS. Just like American music penetrated through the Iron Curtain, so, too, shall innovation steadily infiltrate the ranks of extremism and those who would provide it sanctuary. As in the Cold War, this invisible influence does not work in isolation. It reaches where our weapons cannot. It embeds itself where repressive ideologies took root and slowly shows how to replace fear with hope. When historians look back at what sapped support from our adversaries, President Obama’s work to push the frontiers of entrepreneurship around the world will be credited as a principal accelerator of their demise.  Read more

E3: GSR Pioneers Powerful Platform for Entrepreneurs to Grow Global

Conference gathers +30 embassies, top entrepreneurs, & leading business groups; E3 heads next to Madrid…


It was a big day for small business.  More than thirty embassies, numerous top trade organizations, and leading international business experts were there to see them.  The Global Entrepreneurship Export Exchange (E3) at George Mason University (GMU) in Arlington, VA demonstrated there exists an incredibly strong demand to build better connections between small businesses and international markets.  Organized by the Global Situation Room, in partnership with Dell, Entrepreneurs Organization, and GMU, E3 attracted some of America’s leading authorities on entrepreneurship and trade.  Elizabeth Gore, named by People Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Extraordinary Women, delivered the conference keynote.  She called technology “the great equalizer for entrepreneurs,” especially for those looking to expand globally.  A point eBay’s Caitlin Brousseau concurred on.  Gallup’s Joe Daly revealed some of the latest trends shaping the global economy and E3 even offered a few exclusive insights for its 140 participants. Read more 

Spanish Entrepreneurs Discover Middle America at E3 Madrid

Cm0i2dPUEAE2IL_Small businesses had a unique chance to explore their expansion plans with seven American states and cities during the Global Entrepreneurship Export Exchange (E3) in Madrid, Spain last week.  Hosted at Google’s Campus Madrid and BBVA’s Innovation Center, entrepreneurs got to expand their understanding of options available to expand their companies to the United States.  E3 offered Spanish entrepreneurs the opportunity to go in-depth to get market insights, questions answered, as well as discuss resources and incentives available to support their entry into the local market.  This format led attendees to go from interest to action. Read more

– GSR Headlines –

Turkey: GSR’s Brett Bruen Speaks with Bloomberg About What Happens Next

Bloomberg“The chances of the U.S. extraditing Gulen, who has lived in the country for nearly 20 years, are slim, said Brett Bruen, a former official in Obama’s National Security Council and now president of the Global Situation Room consulting firm.  ‘I don’t see a scenario at the moment at least in which he is extradited to Turkey,’ Bruen said. ‘The evidence that has been presented that he was somehow behind this coup is still not there. And obviously there would be very real concerns about what would befall him if he were turned over to Turkish authorities.'” Read more

How to Optimize Your Website for International Business

Business.com_New_LogoBy: Brett Bruen

We don’t do global. It’s a statement I hear a lot. Most companies I meet say they aren’t currently engaged in international trade. Indeed, just five percent of American small and mid-sized businesses export, compared to 50 percent in the United Kingdom.  My reply’s always the same. Do you have a website? Then you are doing global but you just aren’t doing it very well.  Even if you aren’t going out on trade missions or actively marketing your company abroad, your website and social media properties are speaking to a global audience. Read more

BloombergAs the Indian Prime Minister Prepares to Visit Washington, Bloomberg Speaks with GSR’s Brett Bruen

“’There’s a window of opportunity for both Modi and Obama as well to elevate the relationship and to try and move beyond some of the friction in the past,’ said Brett Bruen, a former official in Obama’s National Security Council and now president of the Global Situation Room consulting firm based in Virginia.”  Read more

The head of an international consulting firm addresses small business owners at Bryant University’s 31st World Trade Day

FullSizeRender-1(Providence Journal) At a time when just 5 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States export, a former diplomat with the Obama administration advised about 200 business and university leaders on Wednesday to venture outside the country and build relationships in other nations.  American businesses shouldn’t just stay home, not when more than 50 percent of the United Kingdom’s small- to medium-sized businesses are exporting, as are so many other nations’ smaller firms, Brett Bruen told his audience at Bryant University’s 31st World Trade Day.  The solution is “to engage” with those around the globe, said Bruen, who described himself as “a recovering diplomat.”  Read more

How Brexit Could Benefit Ireland, GSR’s Bruen Talks to the Irish Times

irish-timesThe majority of the implications for Ireland of a UK departure from the European Union are negative, but every cloud holds a silver lining, in the eyes of some US business figures.  “It is likely in the long run to be beneficial to Ireland because Ireland would offer the benefits of an English-speaking economy based in Europe, ” says Brett Bruen.  A former director of global engagement on the White House’s National Security Council, Bruen now advises through his consultancy, Global Situation Room, companies investing internationally.  “I think you will find many companies opting either to set up or reinforce their presence in Ireland,” he says. Read more

International Cyber Attacks are about to get Worse & Hollywood is Cast in a Leading Role


By: Brett Bruen

Putin was pummeling us. Ukraine was headed to elections and the Russian propaganda machine shifted into overdrive to discredit the process.  I had just begun work on a counter-crisis communication strategy at the White House.  It was an effort to more proactively respond to emerging international issues. We decided to jump over refining the theory and put it to the test. Read more


GSR’s Brett Bruen Speaks with the Guardian about Ways Canada’s Prime Minister can Navigate the Trump Issue

“‘Trudeau should not just be wary of Trump retaliating if he becomes president, said Brett Bruen, a former director of global engagement at the White House. ‘This is a candidate who has demonstrated time and again that he’s willing to go to any lengths to eviscerate those that he sees as a threat to his candidacy,’ he said, pointing to the considerable sway Trump has over his supporters. ‘And that could have economic consequences, that could have consequences just in terms of Canada’s brand in the US and that’s not something that I think is in either country’s interest.’” Read more

GSR’s Bruen on the Republicans Trump Dilema

Logo_Elmundo“As the President of the consulting firm the Global Situation Room, Brett Bruen explained to El Mundo, “Trump has a clearer path to claim the Republican nomination, even if he doesn’t get the necessary 1,237 delegates…But, if Hillary has secured the support of her party’s leaders, Trump has encountered hostility in the Republican establishment.  According to Bruen, “this presents a dilema for the party: if they deny him the nomination they run the risk of fracturing their party.  If they let him continue, Trump could damage the aspirations of other candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives.”  Read more (in Spanish)

CTVHow can the Prime Minister Capitalize on State Visit

Former White House staffer Brett Bruen shares insight into how the Prime Minister can ensure he makes an impact during his state visit to Washington.

Watch the interview with CTV’s Canada AM, the country’s #1 morning show.

Why all the US attention on Trudeau matters


“It was a star-studded state dinner, the first for a Canadian Prime Minster in 20 years. The two leaders toasted and teased each other. All this, after profiles on 60 Minutes, in TIME and Vogue. Our guest, a former White House director of global engagement and strategic communications consultant Brett Bruen says, a spot on a sitcom would be good too.” Listen to the Talk Show 

White House Veteran Suggests Trudeau Appear on Sitcoms

Toronto_star_logo“A veteran of the Obama White House who specialized in international outreach says Canada’s rookie prime minister has an extremely rare opportunity for a foreign leader: the chance to be heard by Americans.  Brett Bruen shared some thoughts in advance of Justin Trudeau’s red-carpet visit this week, based on his own career as a U.S. diplomat who until recently was the White House director of global engagement.”   Read more

After the Iowa caucuses, GSR’s Brett Bruen joined the weekly Washington Forum program of the Voice of America’s French service, to offer analysis of where the presidential campaigns go from here. Watch the show (in French)

Global Risk: Universities Need to be Better Preparedlogopie

“Bruen was Director of Global Engagement at the White House and spent twelve years as a US diplomat. He is now President of the consulting firm the Global Situation Room and an adjunct faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute. Here he writes about why universities should take the risks of travelling seriously so they can better protect their students and staff overseas.” Read more

Canadian Press Agency Talks to GSR’s Brett Bruen About the Prime Minister’s US Visit

canadian press“Brett Bruen said it’s not only acceptable but even welcome for Trudeau to discuss his own values, and on refugees perhaps try stirring the conscience of potentially like-minded Americans. But Bruen, the former White House director of global engagement, also said it would be a bad idea for the neighbour to butt nto the messy argument within America’s political household.” Read more

What it Takes to Overcome Extremism

By: Brett Bruenfooter-logo@2x

President Obama announced a series of new structures last month to counter the influence of extremist ideology. While they enhance our ability to diminish the influence of ISIS, we need to go further. Just saying no isn’t an inspiring message and is why so many similar campaigns have failed since 2001. Ironically, the classrooms at Tikrit University, held for several months by ISIS militants, offer a few lessons in what it takes to win this kind of information war.  In the year I spent on that campus, we didn’t just deny Al Qaeda support.  By focusing on connecting and not countering, we managed to make it the most pro-American university in Iraq.  Read more

SFA GSR ArticleIreland’s Small Firms Association Highlights GSR’s US Market Insights

Article originally published in Now That’s What I Call Business, the official newsletter of Ireland’s Small Firms Association.

By: Brett Bruen

America can be intimidating, especially for small firms. Its size, diversity, and complexity confound many companies considering expansion to the United States. Yet, following a few simple principles can ease the process substantially and make the likelihood of success here significantly greater. First, if you’ve heard of the city in the movies, it’s probably not the best place to set up shop. Second, you don’t need Hollywood or a lot of ads to sell most products. Finally, embrace your Irish origins, while establishing enough American relevance. Read more


Bloomberg Speaks with GSR’s Brett Bruen on US-Iran Relations

“America’s relationship with Iran will remain exceptionally complicated,” said Brett Bruen, a former official in Obama’s National Security Council and now president of the Global Situation Room consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. “Radicals on both sides will continue their efforts to knock the ship off course.” Read more

23802053913_d9a270f960_bGSR’s Brett Bruen Shares Strategies for Personal Branding 

University of Southern California 

“Bruen started the discussion by explaining that developing a personal brand, in terms of having global impact, hinges on three things: defining who you are, finding ambassadors that will tell your story and setting goals for yourself.” Read more


Princess Diana’s Legacy & the Challenges of Celebrity Advocacy

“Bruen argued that celebrities tend to make poor advocates due to their lack of knowledge or effectiveness in their philanthropic efforts.

‘If you want to generate the good will, the forgivability, you have to show impact. And so few celebrities are able to do that,’ Bruen said. ‘Largely it is because their involvement is shaped not so much through the optic of ‘what do I want this initiative to achieve?’, but ‘what do I want to achieve?’’ Read more

Bloomberg  Speaks with GSR’s Brett Bruen About Tensions in the Middle East

Bloomberg“The Saudis may have executed al-Nimr ‘to stir the pot a bit in the last year of the Obama presidency, when he may be looking to fortify the Iran deal and leave his mark on the region,’ said Brett Bruen, former director of global engagement for Obama’s National Security Council and now president of the Global Situation Room consulting firm. ‘This may be an attempt by the Saudis to try to disrupt those efforts.'”

Read more

GSR Event – US Cabinet Member: Closer Coordination Between Governments Will Enhance Entrepreneurship

DSC_8715Ambassadors and representatives of more than twenty countries with leading policies on entrepreneurship participated in a conference today with the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at Georgetown University. Co-organized with the Global Situation Room, Georgetown’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the gathering identified a number of opportunities to build bridges and best practices across countries. Read more

BBC News_0BBC News Asks GSR’s Brett Bruen How Jihadi John Was Tracked Down in Syria

“In addition, as Brett Bruen, a former National Security Council official, pointed out, Emwazi gave away ‘important details’ about his whereabouts through his own, slickly-produced videos.” Read more

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 5.01.19 PMBrett Bruen: At This Stage There is no Good Solution for Syria

Bulgarian National Radio’s Angelina Piskova Interview with Brett Bruen

Former US diplomat and specialist in Middle Eastern affairs Brett Bruen, told “Horizon” that at this stage, in his opinion, there is no good solution for Syria.  “In the short-term there is no good solution. I think what will soon happen is that Assad and “Islamic State” will steadily lose legitimacy and power. However, what lies ahead is largely an open question.” Read more

GSR’s Brett Bruen Offers Analysis of the Republican Debate

Logo_ElmundoTranslation from the original Spanish article that appeared in Spain’s El Mundo on October 29, 2015

“To get a view on the debate El Mundo spoke with Brett Bruen, President of the Global Situation Room and former Director of Global Engagement in the White House with Obama.  ‘Cruz had a strong night.  He mixes the outsider outrage with more policy depth than either Trump or Carson.  He is well-positioned to capture support as Trump and Carson decline.  Bush accelerated impressions of a candidate on the decline by lashing out at Rubio.  If they weren’t already, tonight will push many of his backers start the search for a new horse to back.  Rubio defended himself well against Jeb’s jabs and moderators’ pointed questions.  It wasn’t a breakout performance, but it will help him to continue a steady climb.'”  Read more

It’s the Time to be Entrepreneurial

Translation from the original Spanish article that appeared in Spain’s El Pais on October 10, 2015

elpais-logoBy: Brett Bruen

For my Spanish wife, it was the taxi driver. For me, it was the time and interest the King dedicated to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit during a dinner at Google’s new Campus Madrid. Something is taking place across Spain. It is quite dissimilar from the building boom that ended poorly for the country’s economy several years ago. Partly because of the scars seared by that experience, the country realized it needed to take a different approach to business. Spain is starting to embrace entrepreneurship. Read more

The Difficulty of Drafting Diplomatic Dispatches in the Post-Clinton Email Era

thehill_logo_200By: Brett Bruen

In the rush to read emails on the television preferences of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, little attention is being paid to how and why most American diplomats communicate. The more significant issue is the effect this episode will have on the practice of diplomacy. Based on my experience, the impact will likely be profound and problematic.  Diplomats will much more heavily self-censor.  Read more

GSR’s Brett Bruen on the Visit of Saudi King


“We’ve got a different kind of relationship with Saudi Arabia now and there are issues that are much more pressing,” said Brett Bruen, a former Obama White House director of global engagement who is now president of the Global Situation Room, a consulting firm. “A couple years ago, energy would have been at the top of the talking points the president had.”

Read more

Delivering Online Ed, Worldwide

American universities mostly miscalculate international engagement. Many see online education as the best means to expand globally. Some invest in creating expensive overseas campuses in places like Dubai and Shanghai.

Yet the most significant opportunities exist somewhere in between. External hubs would provide physical platforms for international students to take classes abroad, without an institution having to build a remote campus. In this space, there are currently very few universities operating. If a shift does not take place soon, American institutions stand to lose significant ground to foreign competitors who are closer, more relevant and quickly developing the capacity to compete with our best universities. Read more