The Atlantic Council today named Richard Morningstar―diplomat, businessman, lawyer, and scholar―as the founding director of its new Global Energy Center. Morningstar is the latest addition to an expert team the Council is assembling to build its groundbreaking energy initiative, including former Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn as the chair of the center’s advisory board, and Cynthia Quartermann, who joins the Council as a distinguished senior fellow following her tenure as the administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The Council also recently welcomed Daniel Poneman, the former deputy secretary of energy, and Carlos Pascual, a two-time US ambassador, to its board of directors, rounding out a world-class team of energy experts.

Morningstar’s post at the Council will build on his exceptional career ranging from a decade practicing law, two decades of private sector leadership, and a distinguished legacy as a diplomat—having served as US ambassador to the European Union, US special envoy for Eurasian energy and, until this summer, as US ambassador to Azerbaijan.

“Ambassador Morningstar brings an intimate understanding of global energy issues and developing trends to the Council as he begins building our newest Center,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “At a time of historic shifts in energy production, few individuals better understand the factors at work and the consequences.”

Before becoming US ambassador in Baku, Morningstar  served in the Clinton Administration as special adviser to the president and secretary of state for assistance to the Former Soviet Union and then for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy. In the latter role he maximized coordination both within the executive branch and with other governments and international organizations, while promoting US policies on regional energy development and transportation. From 1999-2001, Morningstar was the US ambassador to the European Union. From 2009 -2012, he was special envoy for Eurasian energy followed by his service in Baku.

For more than ten years, Morningstar led Costar Corporation, a manufacturer of medical laboratory products, as chairman and CEO. Under Morningstar’s leadership, Costar was listed by Forbes as one of the United States’ top 200 small companies. Morningstar has also acted as a visiting scholar and diplomat in residence at Stanford University,  Herman Phleger visiting professor and then lecturer of law at Stanford Law School and was an adjunct lecturer at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center will work to promote global access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy at a time of unprecedented volatility and opportunity. Alongside government, industry, and civil society partners, the Center will devise creative responses to energy-related geopolitical conflicts, advance sustainable energy solutions, and identify trends to help develop energy strategies and policies that ensure long-term prosperity and security.  

Ambassador Morningstar will join the Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Energy and Economic Summit where he will provide welcoming remarks. Please visit the summit website for more information and to tune into the live webcast.

Related Experts: Richard L. Morningstar