Eurasia Energy Center of the Atlantic Council Launched

Boyko Nitzov, Alexandros Petersen Dinu Patriciu Fellows for Transatlantic Energy Security

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Boyko Nitzov and Mr. Alexandros Petersen have been named the first Dinu Patriciu Fellows for Transatlantic Energy Security at the Atlantic Council’s newly established Eurasia Energy Center.  The opening of the Center could not come at a better time, with General James L. Jones, immediate former Chairman of the Atlantic Council and current National Security Advisor, and several other Obama administration officials citing energy security as a major foreign policy priority.

The Eurasia Energy Center shall provide the Atlantic Council’s focal point for work related to Black Sea, Caspian, and Central Asian energy issues, such as pipeline politics, the East-West energy corridor, and east and southeast European energy policies.  Recent security concerns in the Caucasus, January’s gas crisis, and the continued debate over proposed pipelines into Europe make the Center’s efforts increasingly urgent.  The Center will work closely with the Atlantic Council’s Energy and Environment Program to provide innovative analysis on regional and international energy geopolitics.

Dr. Nitzov, a former Senior Expert for Investment at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels, brings a wealth of expertise in U.S. and Eurasian energy policy to the Council.  Mr. Petersen, most recently the Southeast Europe Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Adjunct Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, provides in-depth knowledge of the Atlantic Community’s role in Eurasia’s energy geopolitics.  The fellowships are made possible by the generous sponsorship of Rompetrol Holding S.A. and its shareholder, Mr. Dinu Patriciu, who is Chairman and CEO of The Rompetrol Group and a member of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board.

The major public event to be carried out by the Center in 2009 will be the inaugural Black Sea Energy Forum.  This top-level government and private sector policy forum will be held in the fall in Bucharest, and will be followed by similar annual forums, which will be hosted each year by other countries located within the wider Eurasia region.  The first Black Sea Energy Forum will be supported by a regional secretariat located in Bucharest, which will ensure comprehensive logistical support for the Atlantic Council and the participants of this year’s forum.  The secretariat will be headed by Mr. Alex Serban, former President of the Euro Atlantic Council of Romania – Casa NATO in Bucharest.

Mr. Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, said, “Following the recent opening of our South Asia Center and the announcement of former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel as our new Chairman, the Eurasia Energy Center will further add to the Atlantic Council’s forward momentum.”  In praising the Center, Chairman Hagel stated, “The geopolitical influence of Eurasian energy is increasingly becoming an intersection for global security and energy supplies.  It affects all areas of our national interests including the environment and trade.  The Council’s new Center will elevate the role of this critically important 21st Century dialogue.”

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Boyko Nitzov and Alexandros Petersen are available for comment at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.  For more information, please contact Peter Cassata at [email protected] or 202-778-4991.