Report Launch: A Natural Gas Diplomacy Strategy for the New US Administration

January 26, 2017 - 9:00 am

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Report Launch: A Natural Gas Diplomacy Strategy for the New US Administration

A conversation with:
Agnia Grigas
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center 
Atlantic Council

Suedeen G. Kelly
Partner and Chair, Energy Regulation, Markets, and Enforcement Practice 
Akin Grump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Tim Boersma
Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy
Columbia University

Introduced and Moderated by:
Amb. Richard Morningstar 
Founding Director and Chairman, Global Energy Center 
Atlantic Council 
With the new US presidential administration of Donald J. Trump, a newly elected Congress, and the recent transformative developments in the US gas sector, a reassessment of the role of natural gas, energy policies, and impacts on international diplomacy are crucial. The US has the opportunity to play the role of leader in the global gas markets with its newfound energy prowess as an emerging producer of natural gas and LNG exporter. Dr. Agnia Grigas, author of the report, will engage into a conversation on her recommendations for the US administration with Ms. Suedeen Kelly, Chair of Akin Gump’s energy practice and former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Dr. Tim Boersma, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. The conversation will be moderated by Ambassador Richard Morningstar. 

The Energy Diplomacy Initiative (EDI), as part of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, aims to drive a global conversation on critical climate and energy security challenges, with the objective to prevent conflict and build bridges through energy ties, provide everyone with access to reliable, affordable, sustainable, and modern energy, and galvanize communities for climate action around more stable, secure, and prosperous world. 

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

This event is open to press and on the record. 

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


Dr. 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 the United States, Europe, the post-Soviet space, Russia, and the Baltic states. She is the author of three books: The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas (Harvard UP, forthcoming 2017), Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire (Yale UP, 2016) and The Politics of Energy and Memory Between the Baltic States and Russia (Ashgate, 2013). In the private sector, Dr. Grigas has more than a decade of experience as an adviser to corporations and government institutions. Her clients have included the likes of Barclays Bank, where she led its international growth initiatives including opening a global strategic engineering center in Lithuania. Previously, she worked as an Associate with leading global consultancy Eurasia Group, where she advised on emerging markets for its multinational clients. She began her career as a Financial Analyst at JP Morgan, where she worked on Eurobond issuance for corporations and governments. Dr. Grigas also 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.

Ms. Suedeen G. Kelly is a partner at Akin Grump and chairs the firm’s energy regulation, markets, and enforcement practice. Ms. Kelly is an internationally-recognized energy industry expert and former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement, and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency, and distributed generation. Ms. Kelly’s knowledge of the national electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes, and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts. In addition to her time at FERC, Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator and was a law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she taught energy law, utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process.

Dr. Tim Boersma is a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Prior to joining CGEP, Dr. Boersma was a fellow and acting director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at the Brookings Institution. From 2011 to 2012, he was a Transatlantic Academy fellow in Washington, DC. In 2014, Dr. Boersma co-authored "Want, Waste, or War? The Global Resource Nexus and the Struggle for Land, Energy, Food, Water, and Minerals", published by Earthscan. In 2015, he published “Energy Security and Natural Gas Markets in Europe: Lessons from the EU and the United States” in the series Routledge Studies in Energy Policy. His research focuses on energy policy coordination, unconventional natural gas extraction, gas market integration, liquefied natural gas, and energy diplomacy. Before starting his career in research, Dr. Boersma spent five years in the private sector, working as a corporate counsel to the electricity production sector in the Netherlands. Dr. Boersma holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Groningen.

Amb. Richard L. Morningstaris the founding director and chairman of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council. He served as the US ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan from July 2012 to August 2014. Prior to his appointment, since April 2009, he was the secretary of state's special envoy for Eurasian energy. Prior to that, Amb. Morningstar lectured at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Stanford Law School. From June 1999 to September 2001, he served as US ambassador to the European Union. Prior to this, Amb. Morningstar served as special adviser to the president and secretary of state for Caspian Basin energy diplomacy, where he was responsible for assuring maximum coordination within the executive branch and with other governments and international organizations to promote United States policies on Caspian Basin energy development and transportation. From April 1995 to July 1998, he served as ambassador and special adviser to the president and secretary of state on assistance for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, where he oversaw all US bilateral assistance and trade investment activities in the NIS. From 1993 to 1995, he served as senior vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).