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The European Geopolitical Forum (EGF) operates from its Brussels-based office but is ably assisted by a number of individuals and service providers in several parts of the world, including Belgium, the United States, Russia and Ukraine. Some of the key persons involved in the day-to-day operations of the European Geopolitical Forum, its website and the production of its particular brand of information streams include:
Dr Marat Terterov, who is originally from Odessa, USSR, is the founder and Principal Director of the European Geopolitical Forum. He received his education in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and holds a D.Phil. (PhD) in political science from St.Antony's College, Oxford University. He has written widely on the countries of the former-USSR and Middle East from the perspective of their geopolitics, domestic security and international relations. He has worked as a consultant and adviser under the auspices of a number of government related and inter-state organisations, including the Department of Trade and Industry in London, USAID in Cairo, the Foreign Ministry of Egypt, the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels and a range of projects in the former-Soviet states. He is active in wider-Eurasian decision making advisory circles, as well as the corporate world, and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Kent in Brussels. He contributes actively to debates on numerous global issues through television, the print media and the internet, as well as numerous international speaker events. He speaks English, Russian and is conversant in Egyptian Arabic
George Vlad Niculescu
Mr. George Vlad Niculescu is originally from Bucharest, Romania, and is currently acting as the Head of Research of the European Geopolitical Forum. He is also currently acting as co-Chair of the Regional Stability in the South Caucasus Study Group of the PfP Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfPC). As a PhD Candidate on international politics, he has a research focus on “Western Confrontation with Russia at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Security Scenarios Planning in the Area from the Baltic Sea to the Wider Black Sea (Inter Marium)". Mr. Niculescu holds a postgraduate diploma in European integration and international relations from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (NSPSPA) Bucharest, and has completed Advanced Studies at George C. Marshall Centre in Garmisch- Partenkirchen, and at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He has also completed training with Welcomeurope on how to prepare and manage European funded projects, as well as on how to manage the budget of a European project. From 2004 to 2010, he worked as NATO staff officer focusing on partnerships and cooperation, mostly with the countries from the Greater Black Sea Area, in areas like: security sector reform, combating terrorism, and cyber defence. Prior to that, he held various positions with a focus on defence policy and international cooperation in the Ministry of Defence of Romania (1994-2004). He has also academic experience as a member of various other PfPC working groups, as well as assistant professor and/or visiting lecturer at the NSPSPA, "Dimitrie Cantemir" University, NATO Studies Centre, and the PfP Training Centre from Bucharest (1997-2004). He is also affiliated with the Centre for East European and Asian Studies, Bucharest (Romania), as Director of Programs in Brussels, for whom he published articles on http://www.cseea.ro, and has been involved in various international research projects.
Ben McPherson was born in New Hampshire, in the United States, and currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in History and Genocides Studies in the U.S., and holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict and Security from the University of Kent. He has extensive energy work experience, including work at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels as well as in environmental regulation and natural gas pipeline inspection all over the United States. In addition to content management and editorial work for EGF, Mr McPherson also writes on energy and security with an interest in the Middle East and the South Caucasus.
Meenakshi Raina holds a Masters in Business Administration with professional experience in financial management, market studies and business strategy in the energy sector. She also founded a Non Profit Organization in India, where she focused on Promotion of Energy Diversification and Sustainable Development She is presently looking to further advance her academic education with another degree, this time in the sphere of international relations. She is fluent in English, French and Hindi. Meenakshi is an EGF Researcher and the Head of Information Policy.
Professor Andrej Kreutz is originally from Krakow, Poland, and has for many years held academic posts in the sphere of international relations at a number of Canadian universities. His main fields of interest involve post-Soviet Russian foreign policy, the post-Cold War international system and the politics and history of the Middle East. His most recent book, Russia in the Middle East: Friend or Foe ?, was published by Praeger in 2006. He is the EGF adviser on trans-Atlantic security and is currently working on a new book on Russia in the Eurasian geopolitical system. He speaks, Polish, Russian and English.
An American native, John VanPool holds a BA in History with an emphasis on Russian history from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent. He has worked as a political communications consultant in Brussels, Belgium on behalf of the Russian Federation as well as other high-profile national government clients. He also served as the European co-editor of ModernRussia.com, a news and information platform reporting on business and economic development in Russia. John has experience working as an EU legislative advisor to a major creative industry firm and served as a free lance research associate on a number of energy and political briefs covering Turkey and the MENA region.
Dr Jack Sharples is a Lecturer in Energy Politics at the European University of St Petersburg, where he also teaches EU Politics in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, and convenes the International MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies. He has been the author of the monthly Gazprom Monitor reports since May 2012.
Dr Sharples received his PhD from the University of Glasgow, UK, having written his thesis on the subject of 'Russian state and Gazprom conceptions of natural gas as a strategic resource and gas exports to the EU during the Medvedev Presidency 2008-2012'. He also holds the qualifications of MSc (2007) and MRes (2008) in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Glasgow, and BA in Politics from the University of York, UK (2005).
Dr Sharples has published articles on Russian approaches to energy security and climate change (in the journal Environmental Politics), and the role of Russia in European energy security (in the journal Political Perspectives). He was previously a Visiting Researcher at the European University of St Petersburg (2009-10), the Brussels School of International Studies (2010), and the Institute of Europe (Russian Academy of Sciences), Moscow (2011).
Dr Sharples' current research interests include: EU-Russia energy relations; Russian foreign and domestic energy policy; Energy security; The relationship between energy security and climate change; EU Politics.
Claudia Nocente was born in Italy and has received her BA in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Padua (Italy) and her MA from the University of Kent in Brussels in International Conflict Analysis with a dissertation on state sovereignty, no-fly zones’ enforcement and humanitarian intervention. She has a genuine academic and personal interest in the MENA countries and hopes to deepen her knowledge of the area. After following her family in Kuwait after the First Gulf War, due to her father’s deployment as a UN observer in the UNIKOM Mission, she has lived in the diplomatic world since her childhood. She is fluent in Italian, English and Spanish, she has a basic knowledge of French and German and she is now approaching Classic Arabic.
Former EGF Associates
Nora Renger holds a BA and MA degree in International Relations from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris where she specialized in the Middle East. She also holds a BA degree in Asian Studies from the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn/Germany. Nora acquired professional experience in foreign and security policy and development policy at the Foundation Konrad Adenauer and at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. A range of stays in Morocco as well as an internship at the German Chamber of Foreign Trade in Casablanca in Morocco allowed her to not only acquire experience in the German-Morocco economic relations but to obtain also a deep insight in the Moroccan culture. Nora speaks German, French, English and Arabic. She is an EGF research assistant with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa
Denis Maksimov is an expert in Russian political processes evolution, foreign and public policy relating to Russia and the former Soviet Union. Denis serves as a consultant with Brussels and Moscow based think tanks and private corporations. His interests and ongoing projects lie in the fields of political risk analysis in Russia and the ex-USSR, as well as the development of practical formats of future cooperation between Russia and the European Union. Denis holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations & European Studies from the Higher School of Economics (Moscow). He also holds a certificate in International Security from Stanford University (USA). He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and his thesis Advisor, Igor Y. Yurgens, is a member of several advisory committees to the President of Russian Federation. Denis has published more than 20 articles in scientific and analytical journals in Russian and English.
Claudia Lostanlen, Trainee: Claudia Lostanlen was born in France and she is pursuing her Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Geopolitics at Sciences Po Aix. She is currently interning for the European Geopolitical Forum offering assistance with logistics and research. Her main interests revolve around military history, geopolitics and international relations, which a specific focus on the causes and repercussions of conflicts on today’s world. She is fluent in French and Italian and conversant in English and German.
Steffen Weber is the Secretary-General of the EU Arctic Forum and Chief Adviser on the Arctic region inside the European Parliament. He has served as the head of cabinet to several members of the European Parliament and remains highly active in EU advisory-decision making circles pertaining to external relations. He also holds an honorary lectureship at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and has been project director for several European think tanks in the area of the development of pan-Baltic relations in the post-Cold War era. He is EGF chief adviser on geopolitics of the "High North", including the wider-Arctic and Baltic regions. He speaks German, Swedish, Finnish and English
Justin Dargin is a Research Fellow with The Dubai Initiative and a Fulbright Scholar of the Middle East at Harvard University. He is a specialist in international energy law and a prolific author on energy affairs. He specializes in carbon trading, the global oil and gas market, the legal framework surrounding the Gulf energy sector, and Middle Eastern geopolitics. He has spent stints at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and the Dubai School of Government. He is active in energy decision making circles in the Middle East and is EGF adviser on Euro-Atlantic relations with the Gulf in the oil and gas sphere. He is fluent in Spanish, Arabic and English
Emily Perkins is an American presently living in Washington, DC. Her work experience has focused on program management and business development for education, software, and medical organizations. After living in Ireland, Australia, and cities across the U.S., Emily recently completed a degree in law and international relations at the University of Kent, Brussels School for International Studies. Her thesis at Kent addressed American legal exceptionalism and its impact on Palestinian statehood. She is an EGF researcher and editorial assistant
Marco C. Pantelakis
Marco C. Pantelakis is a Masters degree candidate in International Relations at the University of Kent at Brussels, specializing in the geopolitics of energy security in Eurasia. After graduating from the University of Venice (Italy), his studies were enriched through research experiences in the United States, Egypt and Greece, which led him to develop a deep interest in religious and anthropological affairs ranging from Sufism to Islamic fundamentalism and Christian Orthodoxy. His current research on Eurasian geopolitics is thus supported by a background in the history of the region from the fall of Byzantium to the rise of the Arab and Ottoman empires. This allows him to identify the hidden dynamics of ongoing Eurasian conflicts. Marco speaks English, Greek, Italian and is currently studying German and Arabic. Marco is an EGF researcher-analyst in the sphere of Eurasian energy.