The Atlantic Council today announced several staffing changes within the Global Energy Center, designed to leverage the center’s expanding work and integrate it with the Council’s flagship events in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Poland.   

“The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center has established itself as best-in-class, attracting top minds in business and government to explore the toughest issues,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “These staff changes will imbue the Global Energy Center with even more momentum, as we prepare to shape the energy agenda in the coming years.”

Randy Bell, who previously served as the Council’s director of business development and new ventures, will become the Global Energy Center’s director of business strategies. In his new role, Bell will take on bottom-line and business development responsibilities across all lines of operation, identifying partners and creative strategies for the growth of the center and its international flagship events.

Additionally, David Koranyi will become director of the new Energy Diplomacy Initiative within the Global Energy Center. He will be responsible for developing and implementing the agendas of the international events in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul and will continue his work related to Europe, Eurasia, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Koranyi will also focus on developing a bipartisan climate change dialogue.

The Global Energy Center’s other leadership positions will remain unchanged.

Richard Morningstar, former US Ambassador to the European Union and Azerbaijan and a special envoy for energy in the State Department, will continue as founding director and chairman of the Global Energy Center, holding overall responsibility for the center’s vision and programming.

The Istanbul Summit will continue under the outstanding direction of Defne Arslan and her deputy Pinar Dost-Niyego, who will also build out relevant programming in Turkey.

Deputy Director Thomas Cunningham, among his other duties, will continue in his current role developing new programs and coordinating papers and research activities within the Center, whose work on the geopolitics of energy and climate change will focus increasingly on the positive and disruptive effects of future markets and technologies.

These changes follow a series of senior-level promotions to the Atlantic Council’s top management team, designed to enrich and expand the organization’s innovative capacity, strategic communications, events production, and intellectual assets. 

The Global Energy Center serves as a resource for policymakers and the private sector looking to navigate various possible energy futures and work toward a world where everyone has access to affordable, sustainable energy. To this end, the center will work to better integrate and coordinate its research programs in Washington with the Council’s flagship convenings in Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, and Wroclaw, as well as develop further programming in major global energy capitals such as Houston, Brussels, and Singapore.

The Global Energy Summit, a new Atlantic Council flagship initiative, will launch in partnership with the Energy Ministry of the United Arab Emirates in January and will kick off the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week with the intention of setting the energy agenda for the year ahead in a manner that will bolster energy markets, encourage breakthrough technologies, and foster climate action.

For more information, or to learn more about our flagship international events, please email

Related Experts: David Koranyi, Richard L. Morningstar, and Thomas Cunningham