EnergySourceMar 30, 2023
The US clean energy transformation can’t happen at the expense of national security
By Francis R. Fannon
The pace of the energy transition has, to this point, depended on low-cost Chinese production. But the supply chains that have driven clean tech deployment jeopardize US national security and must be remade.
The Honorable Francis R. Fannon has led organizations and created business opportunities at senior levels of government and as a corporate executive for more than two decades.
Frank is currently the managing director of Fannon Global Advisors, a strategic advisory focused on geopolitics, the energy transition, and market transformation. He is also a (non-resident) Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Frank was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the inaugural Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources. As “America’s Energy Diplomat,” he led whole-of-government initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa region to advance free, open markets, and resilient supply chains. By partnering with governments and companies, Frank and his team advanced major energy and infrastructure deals worth tens of billions of dollars.
Frank elevated global awareness of the critical role that minerals play in the energy transition. He led bilateral and multinational coalitions to help countries responsibly develop clean energy minerals and fostered more transparent markets. Frank credits, in part, his success as a diplomat on his success as a senior executive for global energy and resource companies.
As managing director of BHP, Frank established the company’s US corporate affairs function. He created and led a comprehensive strategy to support the company’s growing footprint, expand its US shareholder base, and shaped climate change stakeholder messaging campaigns. Frank served as chief US advisor to the BHP Foundation, focused on transparency and governance, environmental resilience, and education equity.
Before BHP, Frank led government affairs for Murphy Oil Corporation. He facilitated new country entry in multiple regions, co-negotiated production sharing contracts, and managed crisis communications and stakeholder engagements. Under Frank’s guidance, Murphy Oil developed and successfully executed the industry’s first point-of-purchase consumer energy campaign.
Frank helped to shape US energy policy while serving in senior positions on Capitol Hill. As counsel to the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, Frank drafted, negotiated, and helped pass into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which included the hydraulic fracturing provisions that unleashed the shale revolution. Frank also served as counsel to Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) and Pete V. Domenici (R-NM).
Frank holds a J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law, an M.A. in International Affairs, Economics & Trade from the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies, and a B.A. from Radford University.