Dr. Svante Cornell and Professor Brenda Shaffer

GIS Guest expert Svante E. Cornell is the Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council and the Institute for Security and Development Policy. His main areas of expertise are security issues, state-building, and transnational crime in Southwest and Central Asia, with a specific focus on the Caucasus and Turkey. He is the Editor of the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, the Joint Center's bi-weekly publication, and of the Joint Center's Silk Road Papers series of occasional papers.

Dr. Cornell is the author or editor of 10 books, including Small Nations and Great Powers, the first comprehensive study of the post-Soviet conflicts in the Caucasus, and, with Frederick Starr, of Long Game on the Silk Road: US and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus (2018). Dr. Cornell is Senior Fellow for Eurasia at the American Foreign Policy Council, and a co-founder of the Institute for Security and Development Policy. He was educated at the Middle East Technical University, received his PhD. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, and holds an honorary degree from the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. He is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Military Science, a Policy Advisor to JINSA’s Gemunder Center, and a Research Associate with the W. Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels. Formerly, He was an Associate Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and Associate Professor of Government at Uppsala University.


GIS Guest Expert Professor Brenda Shaffer is a foreign policy and international energy expert. She specializes in global energy trends and policies, politics in the South Caucasus and greater Caspian and Black Sea regions, Caspian energy and Eastern Mediterranean energy. She is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center in Washington, D.C., and a visiting researcher and professor at Georgetown University.

Professor Shaffer is the author of several books: Energy Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity (MIT Press, 2002) and Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001). Energy Politics is used as a text book in over 200 university courses around the world. She has also served as the editor for Beyond the Resource Curse (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) and Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy (MIT Press, 2006).

Professor Shaffer frequently provides research and expert counsel to international institutions, governments, international energy companies, financial institutions, and regional security organizations, such as NATO on energy security policies. She has served as an advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Energy and Water and to the “Zemach Committee” that was appointed by the Prime Minister of Israel to recommend natural gas policy.

She has given testimony to several committees of the United States Congress, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and to the European Parliament. She frequently appears on CNBC and in major news outlets worldwide to provide insight on developments in the global oil market.

She holds a PhD degree from Tel Aviv University, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Security Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She previously served as the Research Director for the Caspian Studies Program at Harvard University. Professor Shaffer serves on the boards of several public foundations and universities.