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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@hks.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.

Contact:

Nikoleta Sremac
Faculty Assistant & Geopolitics of Energy Project Coordinator
Phone: (617) 496-8238
Email: nikoleta_sremac@hks.harvard.edu
Office: Belfer-418

 

 

By Date

 

2016

Alexei Nikolsky

March 8, 2016

"Competing goals make Saudi oil policy hard to predict"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

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

The agreement to freeze production was geopolitical not economic, writes Meghan O’Sullivan in the Financial Times.

 

2015

Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

November 15, 2015

What Will the U.S. Energy Industry Look Like Over the Next Five Years?

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Wall Street Journal

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

Professor Meghan O'Sullivan was interviewed on November 15th, 2015 for a Wall Street Journal special section on energy, discussing the rapid transformation of the American energy sector in light of low fuel prices, new climate policies and other factors.

 

 

July 14, 2015

The Energy Implications of a Nuclear Deal between the P5+1 and Iran

Report

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

On June 23 and 24, twenty five experts met at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the auspices of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The group, which included experts from academia, the financial sector, government, and the energy industry, spent an evening and the following full day discussing and debating the possible energy implications of a nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran.

 

 

wikimedia CC

February 9, 2015

"China’s Energy Hedging Strategy: Less Than Meets the Eye for Russian Gas Pipelines"

Paper

By Amy Myers Jaffe, Kenneth B. Medlock III and Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

China’s energy needs have been a major factor shaping the global energy landscape in the 21st century. A significant contributor to rising global energy consumption and increasing prices over the last decade, the country is being actively courted by the world’s largest oil and gas exporters as a pivotal growth market for the future. As part of this, policymakers and industry leaders have been closely monitoring the potential for growing strategic and energy ties between China and its producer neighbor, Russia.

 

 

Secretary of Defense Flickr

January 26, 2015

"Why Saudis Are Holding Strong on Oil"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

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

A consensus has emerged since the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will not change course on oil policy. This consensus is probably right, at least for the short term.  It is, however, correct for reasons other than the ones that most observers have invoked.

 

2014

Wikimedia CC

December 7, 2014

Meghan O'Sullivan on Dropping Oil Prices

In the News

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

Professor Meghan O'Sullivan appeared on December 7, 2014 on "This Week" with George Stephanopolous to discuss falling oil prices.

 

 

AP Images

December 3, 2014

"The Saudis Won't Let Oil Free-Fall"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

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

With a few exceptions, the consensus emerging from last week’s inconclusive Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting is that if OPEC is not dead, it is at least in a coma.  This may be a reasonable judgment based on the group’s ability to take collective action on a production cut to bolster the price of oil in the short run. 

 

 

Aspen Strategy Group

November 2014

The Crisis with Russia

Book

By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Jonathon Price, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Kevin Rudd, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Stephen Hadley

The Crisis with Russia is a collection of papers by preeminent U.S.-Russia policy experts, academics, journalists, and business leaders. This volume explores topics ranging from the history of the U.S.-Russia relationship, current developments in the Sino-Russian relationship, the NATO and European responses to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, energy considerations, areas of potential U.S.-Russia cooperation, and finally, the broader question of U.S. national security and interests in the European region.

 

 

AP Images

November 14, 2014

"New China-Russia Gas Pact Is No Big Deal"

Op-Ed, Bloomberg View

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

The latest China-Russia gas deal, declared on the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing this week, got far more attention than it deserved.  Eager to add fuel to the narrative of an emerging strategic relationship between Beijing and Moscow, commentators pronounced the deal as a game-changer, a symbol of a new partnership between long-estranged countries.  Yet, a look beyond the words of Russian gas executives (always a good idea) suggests that there is much more hype than substance here. The deal seems to be little more than an effort to ensure that Putin did not leave China empty-handed, particularly in the wake of a big U.S.-China declaration on climate.

 

 

Wikipedia Commons

November 8, 2014

"The global gas market, LNG exports and the shifting US geopolitical presence"

Journal Article, Energy Strategy Reviews, volume 5

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

The upstream renaissance in the United States that has resulted from the successful application of new technologies in the exploration and development of shale gas has generated ripples through the global gas market. The US is soon to become a significant exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is remarkable given conventional wisdom just a decade ago was that the US would become a substantial importer of LNG.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.