The Mentor Group

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The Mentor Group Institute for Intercultural Education, known as The Mentor Group, is an American think tank established in 1983 by Thomas Kosmo.
Its purpose is “to conduct legal and economic studies and research for scholars and officials of the United States of America and Europe”.1


The Mentor Group has founded the following policy platforms:

  • Forum for EU/US Legal-Economic Affairs.23
  • Central European Forum for Legal-Economic Affairs (established in 2004). 3
  • Forum for Russian Legal-Economic Affairs (1993-2000).3
  • Library of Economic Freedom and Administrative Power.2

The Group has also organised high level policy events, including:

  • Symposium on Statecraft and the Armed Forces at the Supreme Court of the United States (since 2009). 4 The 2017 event was attended by the Swedish Ambassador to the US. 5
  • Seminar for the European Union Judiciaries.2
  • Harvard Seminar on the European Political Economy.2

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

British American Tobacco has been a member of the Mentor Group’s Forum for EU/US Legal-Economic Affairs since 1992.
Internal BAT documents show that the Forum served as a platform for large corporations, including BAT, to access senior European Union (EU) decision makers, and attempt to influence EU legislation and regulations that have the potential to harm their business interests.678 The Forum has attracted high profile EU speakers in the past. For more information, go to: Forum for EU/US Legal-Economic Affairs.


The Mentor Group’s 2014 financial filing for the IRS shows that the Group had an income of US$1,085,000 in 2014; US$1,035,000 from membership fees and US$50,000 from a symposium event.9 It employed 8 people that year.9
In its 2017 entry on the EU Transparency Register, the organisation reported to have spent between €600,000 and €699,999 on EU lobbying that year.10

High Level Access to EU Policymakers

In May 2018, Mentor Group representatives met with the most senior EU civil servant, Martin Selmayr.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss “Keynote address; the renewed EU and its relationship with the US: unity trust and the need to preserve the rules based international order”.11
The “keynote address” is likely to have been for the 2018 Forum for EU/US Legal-Economic Affairs event. Selmayr has participated in previous Forum meetings, notably in 2013 and 2017.1213

TobaccoTactics Resources

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  1. Unknown, The Mentor Group – Institute for Intercultural Education- Annual Financial Statements for the Years Ended December 31, 1992 & 1991, undated, Truth Tobacco Industry Document, Bates no: 202319731-202319737, accessed August 2018
  2. abcdThomas Kosmo Profile,, undated, accessed March 2017
  3. abcPrinceton University, Eugene Matthew, 1930–, Princeton University Library Findings Aids, 2011, accessed August 2018
  4. The Mentor Group, website, undated, accessed August 2018
  5. B. Lyrvall (@bjornly), Tweet: “Honored to attend Mentor Group Symposium on Statecraft w/Justice Kagan @USSupremeCourt”, Twitter, 2 March 2017, 11:39 PM.
  6. Essex Court Chambers, Mentor Group Paper, 5 July 1994, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 202319573, accessed August 2018
  7. T. Kosmo, Letter from Thomas Kosmo to Stuart P Chalfen regarding quality of regulation, 21 July 1994, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 202319785, accessed August 2018
  8. P. Duffy, Mentor Group, 22 September 1995, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 321923820-321923839, accessed August 2018
  9. abThe Mentor Group Institute for Intercultural Education Inc, Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, 2014. Available from:, accessed March 2017
  10. The Mentor Group, EU Transparency Register, last modified on 26 July 2018, accessed September 2018
  11. European Commission, Meetings of Secretary-General Martin Selmayr with organisations and self-employed individuals, undated, accessed August 2018
  12. Unknown, Remarks to the Mentor Group Forum for EU-US Legal-Economic Affairs Brussels April 16, 2013, Federal Trade Commission website, accessed August 2018
  13. The Mentor Group, Forum for EU-US Legal-Economic Affairs Rome Forum Agenda Villa Medici September 13-16, 2017, 10 July 2017, accessed August 2018