The Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, launched during IRENA’s 8th Meeting of the Assembly in January 2018, works to achieve a better understanding of the geopolitical implications of a large-scale shift to renewable energy. With the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals driving profound change in the global energy system, the Commission will analyse how higher shares of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency will impact relations between states and thus reshape global energy diplomacy.
Morgan Bazilian is the Executive Director of the Payne Institute and a Research Professor of Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. Previously, he was Lead Energy Specialist at the World Bank.
He has over two decades of experience in the energy sector and is regarded as a leading expert in international affairs, policy and investment. His work has ranged from fiscal policy, to systems analysis, to infrastructure investment, to market regulation and governance in all areas of energy policy from upstream oil and gas to power systems.
Dr. Bazilian holds two Master’s degrees and a PhD in areas related to energy systems and markets, and has been a Fulbright Fellow. He holds or has held, several academic affiliations including at Columbia University, Cambridge University, the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Adil Najam is the inaugural Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He is also a Professor of International Relations and of Earth and Environment.
Previously, Prof. Adil Najam served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan and as the Director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. His research focuses on issues of global public policy, especially those related to global climate change, South Asia, Muslim countries, environment and development, and human development.
Prof. Najam has written over 100 scholarly papers and book chapters. His recent books include: South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures (2013); How Immigrants Impact their Homelands (2013); The Future of South-South Economic Relations (2012). He was also a co-author for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); work for which the scientific panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the public understanding of climate change science.
Meghan O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Between 2004 and 2007, Dr. O’Sullivan was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of her tenure. In 2013, she served as the vice chair of the All Party Talks in Northern Ireland, which sought to resolve on-going obstacles to peace.
Dr. O’Sullivan is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and a columnist for Bloomberg View. She is on the board of United Technologies, a consultant to energy companies, a member of the International Advisory Group for the British law firm, Linklaters, and on the board of several non-profit organizations. Professor O’Sullivan was awarded the Defense Department's highest honor for civilians and, three times, the State Department's Superior Honor Award. She has a B.A. from Georgetown University and a masters and doctorate from Oxford University.
Indra Overland is Research Professor and Head of the Energy Programme at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He did his PhD at the University of Cambridge and has since been published extensively on global energy issues.
His recent publications include “Energy: The Missing Link in Globalization”, “Future Petroleum Geopolitics”, “Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs”, and “Financial Sanctions Impact Russian Oil”. He has been awarded the Toby Jackman prize, the Marcel adieux Prize, the Stuland Prize and co-authored the most cited article published by the Journal of Eurasian Studies.
David Sandalow is the Inaugural Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and co-Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
He launched and directs the Center’s U.S.-China Programme and has written, most recently, on topics including energy diplomacy and energy finance. Mr. Sandalow is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Yale College.
Previously, David Sandalow has served in senior positions at the White House, State Department and U.S. Department of Energy. He came to Columbia from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as Under Secretary of Energy (acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs. Prior to serving at DOE, Mr. Sandalow was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as Energy & Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Initiative. He has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science and a Senior Director on the National Security Council staff.
Mr. Sandalow writes and speaks widely on energy and climate policy. His recent works include The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy (2017, co-author), Financing Solar and Wind Power: Lessons from Oil and Gas (2017, co-author), CO2 Utilization Roadmap 2.0 (2017, project chair), The History and Future of the Clean Energy Ministerial (2016), Solar Together (2016) and Meeting China’s Shale Gas Goals (2014, lead author).
Daniel Scholten is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He specializes in the geopolitical implications of renewable energy and the governance of renewable energy systems.
His research and teaching combines engineering insights with economics, political science, and the international relations in order to identify, interpret, and address the societal implications of the transition to renewable energy. Occasionally, he also writes on European integration. He has published in journals such as Technical Forecasting and Social Change, Energy, Energies, Energy Research and Social Science, Journal of Common Market Studies, Sustainability and European Review. His recent activities include the publication of “The geopolitics of renewables”, the construction of a dedicated blogpost on the topic, and two new research avenues: the peace potential of renewable energy and the divergent energy paths among EU member states.
Kirsten Westphal is Senior Analyst at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, in Berlin.
Her research focuses on energy security and international energy governance, the political economy of energy markets and its impacts on foreign energy relations and geopolitics.
Dr. Kirsten’s expertise include German and EU energy governance, Eastern Europe and Eurasia as well as the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. Previously, Dr. Westphal was Assistant Professor for International Relations at JLU Giessen, and Researcher at the Center for International Development and Environmental Relations.
Ruth McCoy has more than twenty years of professional experience working in the United Nations system, with governments, in public policy organisations and the not-for-profit sector.
From 2007-2014, Ms. McCoy served as Chief of Staff and then Executive Director of the Kofi Annan Foundation in Geneva. During that time, she provided political support to Kofi Annan in his mediation roles in Kenya and Syria, and established a number initiatives including the Electoral Integrity Initiative and a study to examine the role of Truth Commissions in peace processes.
Born in Malaysia and educated in the UK, Ms. McCoy also served in the Cabinet of the ILO Director-General (2000-2006), the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General (1997-1999) and the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly (1995-1997). She has also worked with a number of development and environmental NGOs based in Malaysia, Kenya and the UK.
Kingsmill Bond is the New Energy Strategist for Carbon Tracker and a Research Partner of TS Lombard, where he offers economic and financial guidance on the implications of the energy transition.
Mr. Bond has worked as a sell-side City equity analyst and strategist for over 20 years, including for Deutsche Bank, Troika Dialog and Citibank in London, Hong Kong and Moscow.
He has written strategy on emerging markets and global themes, including the wider significance of the shale revolution and US energy independence. He argues that this revolution is the most important driver of financial markets and geopolitics in the modern era.
He worked for many years in Russia, which is the world’s largest exporter of fossil fuels, and deeply impacted by the transition. Kingsmill has an MA in history from Cambridge University, trained as an accountant (CIMA), and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).