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Meghan L. O'Sullivan

Mailing address

Littauer 329A
79 JFK Street
Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Meghan L. O'Sullivan

Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-4308
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: meghan_osullivan@ksg.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Her expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, decision making in foreign policy, nation-building, counterinsurgency, and the Middle East. From July 2013-December 2013, she served as the vice chair of the All Party Talks in Northern Ireland, which sought to resolve on-going obstacles to peace. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of her tenure. There, she helped run two strategic policy reviews: one on Afghanistan in the summer of 2006 and one on Iraq in late 2006 and early 2007, which led to the “surge” strategy. She spent two years in Iraq, most recently in the fall of 2008 to help conclude the security agreement and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq. 

Prior to this, Dr. O'Sullivan was senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia in the NSC; political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator and deputy director for governance in Baghdad; chief advisor to the presidential envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process; and a fellow at the Brookings Institution. She has published several books and articles on American foreign policy, including Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism (2003) and edited volume (with Richard Haass) Honey and Vinegar: Incentives, Sanctions, and Foreign Policy (2000).

Dr. O'Sullivan is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, and a strategic advisor to John Hess, the Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation, an American independent oil and gas company.  She is also a foreign affairs columnist for Bloomberg View as well as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Aspen Strategy Group.  Dr. O’Sullivan serves as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, a director of the board of TechnoServe, a member of the Advisory Board to the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, and a member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard.

She has been awarded the Defense Department's highest honor for civilians, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, and three times been awarded the State Department's Superior Honor Award. In 2008, Esquire Magazine named her one of the most influential people of the century.

Dr. O'Sullivan received a B.A. from Georgetown University, a masters of science in Economics and doctorate in Politics from Oxford University.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

AP Images

March 17, 2014

"Peace-making in Northern Ireland"

News

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Meghan O'Sullivan and Richard Haass sit down with Fareed Zakaria to discuss the outcomes of their work on the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland this past year.

 

 

AP Images

March 11, 2014

"A Better Energy Weapon to Stop Putin"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Ukraine crisis has spurred calls for ramping up U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to Europe in the hope of translating our new-found energy prowess into geopolitical influence. It's a nice idea. But if the goal is to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, a more considered proposal might be to lift the ban on the export of U.S. crude oil.

 

 

AP Images

March/April 2014

"America's Energy Edge"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Affairs

By Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Only five years ago, the world’s supply of oil appeared to be peaking, and as conventional gas production declined in the United States, it seemed that the country would become dependent on costly natural gas imports. But in the years since, those predictions have proved spectacularly wrong.

 

 

AP Images

January 9, 2014

"Another Iraq War? Here’s How to Avoid It"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Many Americans are surprised to see Fallujah back on the front pages of newspapers. How did things get so bad that the Iraqi government was compelled to call for American support in its battle against an al-Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?

 

2013

AP Images

October 17, 2013

"40 Years After Embargo, OPEC Is Over a Barrel"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries embargo against the U.S. and states that supported Israel after Egypt and Syria initiated simultaneous offensives against it on Yom Kippur in 1973. While it’s not an anniversary that many will celebrate, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on how much more secure our energy situation is, despite our continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

 

 

August 1, 2013

Meghan O'Sullivan Named Vice-Chair of All-Party Talks in Northern Ireland

News

By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications and Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Meghan O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and head of the Belfer Center's Geopolitics of Energy Project, has been named vice-chair of the All-Party Talks in Northern Ireland. She will join Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass in chairing the talks aimed at addressing some of the most divisive issues affecting Northern Ireland.

 

 

AP Images

July 10, 2013

"What Egypt Can Learn From Iraq, and Vice Versa"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

While arguing over the merits of continuing U.S. aid to Egypt, commentators and analysts tend to agree on two main points. First, there is a general consensus on what President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood got wrong. Second, virtually all Western observers are stressing the need for an inclusive government in Egypt. In the first point, Egypt offers a lesson to Iraq and, in the second, Iraq offers a lesson to Egypt. Together, they point to the direction U.S. policy should take.

 

 

AP Images

May 15, 2013

"U.S. Action in Syria Could Sway Iran on Nukes"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad must be pleased at how, within a week, the conversation has shifted from his regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons to an international peace conference on Syria’s civil war.

 

 

Wikipedia Commons

February 14, 2013

"'Energy Independence' Alone Won't Boost U.S. Power"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

“We are finally poised to control our own energy future,” said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union message, noting the drastic increase in American energy production from unconventional oil and gas resources.

Controlling our energy future means more than just producing a greater amount of our own energy. It also means harnessing this energy renaissance to meet our global geopolitical needs. We’ve begun to reap the many economic benefits this boom brings—such as easing the trade deficit and lowering carbon emissions. But we have only started to appreciate how this energy renaissance affects our larger strategic environment. And, not surprisingly, many readers of the tea leaves have confused reality with desire, by hoping more energy at home will mean keeping out of the volatile politics and economics of the Middle East.

 

2012

AP Images

December 13, 2012

"Egypt’s Constitution Needs an Expiration Date"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Egyptians living abroad began voting Dec. 12 on whether to accept the nation’s proposed new constitution. Yet, even as they took to the polls and those in the country prepared to vote this weekend, President Mohamed Mursi continued to meet with a “national dialogue” committee on compromises that might allow more members of the opposition to accept the controversial draft.

 

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