Developing a Western Energy Strategy for the Black Sea Region and Beyond

February 1, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC

Report Launch: Developing a Western Energy Strategy for the Black Sea Region and Beyond

A conversation with:
Ariel Cohen
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center
Atlantic Council

Agnia Grigas
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center 
Atlantic Council

Steve Nicandros
Chairman and CEO
Frontera Resources

Elin Suleymanov
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States

Tugay Tuncer
Deputy Chief of Mission
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey to the United States

Moderated by:

David Koranyi
Director, Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative
Atlantic Council

Introduced by:

John Herbst
Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

In the report Developing a Western Energy Strategy for the Black Sea Region and Beyond, Atlantic Council’s Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center, Dr. Ariel Cohen argues that the Black Sea region is key to Europe’s energy security and the West’s strategic positions. The panel of diplomats and experts will discuss the challenges the Black Sea region faces, and explore regional, European and US strategies to strengthen energy security. Please click here to read the report.

The Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative is a joint initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center that covers critical energy issues in the wider Eurasian space.

On Twitter? Follow @ACGlobalEnergy and use #ACenergy

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open topress and on the record. 

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


Ariel Cohen, LLB, PhD, is a Nonresident Senior Fellow within both the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center and its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. He is a recognized authority on international security and energy policy, and the rule of law and a leading expert in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Dr. Cohen is the Founder and Director of the Center for Energy, Natural Resources, and Geopolitics and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security, a Washington, DC, think tank. He is the Principal of International Market Analysis, a political risk advisory with specialty in energy and natural resources. Until 2015, he was a Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Dr. Cohen consults for Fortune 500 companies and international law firms. He served as a Senior Consultant for Burson Marsteller's Emerging Markets practice and for Emerging Markets Communications. He also was a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy's Center for Deterrence Analysis. In addition, Dr. Cohen has consulted for the US Agency for International Development, The World Bank, the Pentagon, the US Senate, and Radio Liberty-Radio Free Europe.

Agnia Grigas is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She speaks and publishes on energy, security, and foreign policy regarding Europe, the post-Soviet space, Russia, and the Baltic states. She is the author of The Politics of Energy and Memory Between the Baltic States and Russia (Ashgate, 2013) and has two books forthcoming. Dr. Grigas has more than a decade of experience as an adviser to corporations and government institutions. Previously, she worked as an Associate with leading global consultancy Eurasia Group. She began her career as a Financial Analyst at JP Morgan, where she worked on Eurobond issuance for corporations and governments. Dr. Grigas has served as adviser on energy security and the economy for the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2009), focusing on regional gas diversification solutions and foreign direct investment. Dr. Grigas earned her master's and doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford and graduated cum laude with a BA in politics and economics from Columbia University. She resides in Washington, DC.

Steve Nicandros is a founder of Frontera Resources Corporation and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. At Frontera’s founding, Mr. Nicandros initially organized the company and directed its initial growth initiatives in Eastern Europe and South America as President while also serving as an executive member of the board of directors. In 1997, he became Chief Executive Officer and, in 2002 was named Chairman of the Board of Directors. Throughout this time, he evolved the company’s Greater Black Sea strategy to primarily focus Frontera’s activities in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe. Prior to Frontera’s founding in 1996, Mr. Nicandros was employed by Conoco Inc. where he served as President of Conoco Overseas Oil Company and was responsible for Conoco’s worldwide development of upstream new business and mergers and acquisitions. Between 1992 and 1994, Mr. Nicandros was Conoco’s Manager of Reserve Acquisitions and Asset Management, following which he became Manager of Upstream Commercial Development. He began his career in the oil industry in 1982 with Conoco Inc. Mr. Nicandros graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 1982 with a B.S. degree in political science. He currently serves on the board of directors of Washington D.C based Atlantic Council, and; serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy, Clean Air and Natural Resources Committee.

Elin Suleymanov was appointed as Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States in October 2011. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Suleymanov was the first Azeri Consul General to Los Angeles and the Western states leading a team, which established Azerbaijani diplomatic presence on the West Coast. Earlier, he served as Senior Counselor at the Foreign Relations Department, Office of the President in Baku, Azerbaijan, and as Press Officer of the nation’s Embassy in Washington, DC. Ambassador Suleymanov’s experience before joining the diplomatic service includes working with the UN High Commisioner for Refugees in Azerbaijan and Glaverbel Czech, a leading manufacturing company in East-Central Europe. Ambassador Suleymanov graduated from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and holds graduate degrees from the Political Geography department of the Moscow State University, and from the University of Toledo, Ohio. Ambassador Suleymanov speaks Azerbaijani, English, and Russian.

Tugay Tunçer is Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Washington, DC. Mr. Tunçer began his professional career in 1994 at the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Department of European Affairs. In 1997, Mr. Tunçer was assigned to the Turkish Embassy in Uzbekistan. He was then relocated to the Turkish Embassy in the United States and later served at the Turkish Embassy in Afghanistan.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Tunçer was the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In addition to his work within various Turkish government institutions, Mr. Tunçer also served as NATO Regional Representative for Central Asia until 2009. Afterwards, he worked as the Political Officer for Afghanistan and Central Asia at the Political Affairs and Security Policy Directorate located at NATO headquarters until 2012. Mr. Tunçer graduated from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey with a degree in International Relations. Mr. Tunçer speaks German, English, and Russian. 

David Koranyi is the Atlantic Council’s Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative and an expert on the geopolitics of energy; Hungarian, European, and US foreign policy and energy policy; European integration; and the Western Balkans. He is the editor of a book, Transatlantic Energy Futures-Strategic Perspectives on Energy Security, Climate Change and New Technologies in Europe and the United States, published in December 2011 by John Hopkins SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations. Mr. Koranyi served as Undersecretary of State and Chief Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary, Gordon Bajnai (2009-2010). He also worked in the European parliament as Chief Foreign Policy Adviser and Head of Cabinet of a Hungarian MEP (2004-2009). Mr. Koranyi is a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Hungarian Europe Society, and the International Advisory Board of the XII Project. He was a member of the Hungarian NATO Strategic Concept Special Advisory Group (2009), the recipient of the German Marshall Fund’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship (2010), Marshall Memorial Fellow Selection Board Member (2011), and a beneficiary of the French Foreign Ministry’s Personalities of the Future Fellowship (2012).

John Herbst is the Director of the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. Ambassador Herbst served for thirty-one years as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of career-minister. He was the US Ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Prior to his ambassadorship in Ukraine, he was the Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003. Ambassador Herbst previously served as US Consul General in Jerusalem; Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for the Newly Independent States; the Director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs; Director of Regional Affairs in the Near East Bureau; and at the embassies in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Saudi Arabia. He most recently served as Director of the Center for Complex Operations at National Defense University. He has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Ambassador Herbst’s writings on stability operations, Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia are widely published.