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Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy


Energy security and energy diplomacy have emerged as critical global issues with far-reaching implications for nations, economies, and international relations. Energy, being the critical component of modern societies, plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth, ensuring national security, and addressing pressing environmental challenges. The secure and reliable supply of energy resources, coupled with effective diplomatic strategies, is essential to maintain stability, promote sustainable development, and address global energy challenges. The intersection of energy and statecraft has become a critical area of study and practice, with profound implications for countries’ economic stability, geopolitical influence, and environmental sustainability.

Energy, as a strategic resource, influences the behavior of nations, shapes alliances, and impacts global power dynamics. It has the potential to serve as both a catalyst for cooperation and a source of conflict among nations. Understanding the intricate relationship between energy security and energy diplomacy is crucial for effectively managing energy resources, mitigating risks, and promoting stability in an increasingly interconnected world.

Key stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, energy companies, and international organizations, recognize the need to integrate energy considerations into their diplomatic strategies. Energy security encompasses the availability, accessibility, affordability, and reliability of energy sources, while energy diplomacy focuses on the negotiation and collaboration among nations to achieve mutual energy interests and address shared challenges.

The importance of energy security and energy diplomacy in statecraft cannot be overstated. Nations that possess a robust energy security strategy are better equipped to navigate geopolitical challenges, respond to disruptions in energy supply, and safeguard their economic prosperity. Energy diplomacy, on the other hand, enables countries to build alliances, negotiate energy agreements, and influence global energy governance frameworks.


The mission of the Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy Studies is to leverage The Institute of World Politics’ (IWP) established strengths and regional expertise to meet the pressing academic demand for critical analysis and objective risk assessment in the strategically significant and often misunderstood field of energy security and energy diplomacy. By capitalizing on IWP’s distinctive grasp of global realities and dedication to scholarship informed by real-world experience, the Center aims to enrich the current academic curriculum. Its primary focus will be to identify and interpret observable risks and threats, providing both theoretical comprehension and practical scenarios and solutions.

By establishing a Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy Studies at the IWP, we aim to deepen our understanding of the complex interplay between energy and statecraft. This Center will serve as a platform for research, education, policy engagement, and international collaboration, with a focus on advancing knowledge and expertise in the field of energy security and energy diplomacy.

Through this initiative, we will empower students, researchers, and policymakers to analyze energy challenges, develop effective strategies, and contribute to global energy governance. By integrating the principles of energy security and energy diplomacy into the realm of statecraft, we can foster stability, cooperation, and sustainable development in the energy sector.

The Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy Studies will serve as a beacon of knowledge, offering insights, expertise, and innovative solutions to address the energy and statecraft challenges of the 21st century. With a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, policy relevance, and international cooperation, the Center will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of energy leaders and fostering a more secure and sustainable energy future.

Key Objectives:

Research: The Center will undertake cutting-edge research on energy security and diplomacy, focusing on areas such as energy geopolitics, energy transition, renewable energy security, energy infrastructure resilience, and energy governance. The research findings will contribute to the academic knowledge base and inform policy decisions.

Education and Training: The Center will offer specialized courses, workshops, executive and academic training programs on energy security and energy diplomacy, aimed at enriching students’ knowledge and expertise in energy and statecraft. These educational initiatives will equip students with the skills and insights necessary to navigate the complex intersection of energy and international relations.

Energy Events: The Center aims to foster collaborative efforts by hosting a series of impactful events. Among its key objectives is to bring together distinguished scholars, practitioners, policy makers, academics, and experts in the realms of energy security and diplomacy. These gatherings will serve as vital platforms for in-depth discussions, allowing participants to exchange insights, share best practices, and explore innovative solutions to the challenges facing the global energy landscape. By facilitating these engaging events, the Center will contribute to the advancement of knowledge, the promotion of effective policies, and the cultivation of a dynamic network of professionals dedicated to shaping a sustainable and secure energy future.

Policy Engagement: The Center will actively engage with policymakers, industry stakeholders, and international organizations through policy dialogues, conferences, and expert consultations. By providing a platform for informed discussions, the Center will facilitate the formulation of effective energy security policies at regional, national, and global levels.

International Collaboration: The Center will establish partnerships with leading academic institutions, research centers, and think tanks worldwide, fostering international collaboration on energy security and energy diplomacy. These collaborations will enable knowledge exchange, joint research projects, and shared resources, enhancing the Center’s global impact and promoting cross-cultural understanding.

Outreach and Awareness: The Center will organize public lectures, seminars, and awareness campaigns to disseminate knowledge and raise public awareness about energy security and its implications for diplomacy. By engaging with the wider community, the Center will foster informed discussions and promote sustainable energy practices.


The head of the Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy is Dr. Sara Vakshouri.

Past Lectures

Below are lectures organized by Dr. Sara Vakhshouri:

Global Energy Security: The Role of Canada
with Mr. James Rajotte, Mr. Craig Weichel, and Dr. Sara Vakhshouri
April 17, 2023

The Russia-Ukraine War and Global Energy Security
with Mr. Kelly Ogle and Dr. Sara Vakhshouri
June 21, 2022

COVID-19 and Global Energy Security
with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri and Mr. C. Derek Campbell
June 22, 2020

Measuring Energy Security Risk: Assessing Risk in a Global Energy Market
with Stephen D. Eule
November 4, 2019

Israel’s Energy Security and Strategy: Changing Dynamics in the Age of Gas
with Dr. Sujata Ashwarya
September 18, 2019

New Dynamics of Energy Security; U.S. Sanctions on Iran & Venezuela, Shale Boom & OPEC
with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri
April 22, 2019

Energy Security: New Market Realities
with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri
September 25, 2017


The Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy at IWP discusses energy access and economic empowerment in Madagascar

The Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy at The Institute of World Politics recently convened a meeting to discuss energy access and economic empowerment in Madagascar. The session welcomed a delegation from Madagascar, headed by Ms. Amielle Niriniavisoa Marceda, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Madagascar in Washington, D.C. Also participating were Ambassador Aldona Wos, President of IWP, Professor Sara Vakhshouri, Director of the Center, and a group of students. Read more

Amb. Aldona Wos discussing energy access in Madagascar

IWP and KAPSARC hold executive training course on Energy Security and Energy Diplomacy

In a collaborative effort between IWP and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), an impactful five-day executive training course on Energy Security and Energy Diplomacy unfolded from December 24-28, 2023. Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, an IWP professor and director of Center for Energy Security and Energy Diplomacy, and expert in the field, designed and led the course, inviting six distinguished guest speakers, including Haroon Hakimi (IWP doctoral candidate), to contribute valuable insights.

Active participants included IWP interns Thea Porter and Victor Kiss, who were able to engage with industry leaders to enhance their understanding of energy dynamics. The program attracted 38 mid-level executives from the energy and nuclear industry, forming a dynamic group eager to explore the intricacies of energy security and diplomacy. Read more


Participants in the Energy Security and Energy Diplomacy Executive Course, December 2023
Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, head of the Center for Energy Security and Diplomacy, along with interns Thea Porter and Victor Kiss, with participants in an Energy Security and Energy Diplomacy Executive Course, offered in conjunction with KAPSARC, December 2023. Read more

Intern Highlights

Thea Porter interned with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri from May to December 2023. During her internship, she discovered a passion for energy security, researched these issues at IWP, and planned and participated in an executive course in Saudi Arabia. Read more about her experience

Dr. Sara Vakhshouri with IWP interns Thea Porter and Viktor Kiss in a desert
Dr. Sara Vakhshouri with IWP interns Thea Porter and Viktor Kiss, enjoying a visit to the desert outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

David Charles Clarke, an IWP intern during the summer 2022 semester, submitted his research work for the prestigious Gulf Research Meeting, an annual peer-reviewed conference held at the University of Cambridge, under the guidance of Dr. Sara Vakhshouri. His research paper was accepted and presented in July 2023. Read more about his experience

David Charles Clarke and Dr. Sara Vakhshouri at Cambridge University
David Charles Clarke and Dr. Sara Vakhshouri at Cambridge University