Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and the Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Her expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, American foreign policy, decision making in foreign policy, nation-building, and the Middle East. Her third book, Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power, was published by Simon & Schuster in September 2017.
At Harvard, Professor O’Sullivan runs the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Belfer Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. The project brings together experts from the realms of academia, industry, and government to explore the complex interactions between energy markets and international affairs.
Dr. O’Sullivan also has extensive experience in policy formulation and in negotiation. 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. In her job at the National Security Council, Dr. O’Sullivan was responsible for building consensus around new policy directions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as overseeing their execution. Dr. O’Sullivan spent two years from 2003-2008 in Iraq, most recently in the fall of 2008 to help negotiate and conclude the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq. During an earlier posting in Baghdad, O’Sullivan also helped negotiate the Transitional Administrative Law, which was the interim constitution of Iraq from 2004-2006.