AICGS

Thomas O'Donnell

Thomas O’Donnell was a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow in April and May 2015. He is an academic, analyst, and consultant with expertise in the global energy system and international relations. At AICGS, his focus is “U.S. Expert Perspectives on German Energy Vulnerabilities.” Dr. O’Donnell’s teaching and research have encompassed the EU and Russia, Latin America, the Middle East, China, and the USA. His PhD is in nuclear physics from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; for the past 15 years he has primarily taught post-graduate international relations and development with a focus on energy and natural resource issues, including at The University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, at The New School University’s JJ Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (NYC), and at Freie Universität’s JFK Institute (Berlin). At his blog, the GlobalBarrel.com, he follows issues of energy and international affairs, and he also writes frequently for the IP Journal (Berlin), Americas Quarterly (NYC), and Petroguía (Caracas).

Throughout 2008-09, Dr. O’Donnell was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor in Caracas at the Center for the Study of Development (CENDES) of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He is a Senior Analyst at Wikistrat and consults with various other geopolitical, business-intelligence, and advisory firms. Before doing his PhD, Dr. O’Donnell spent a decade working in U.S. industry, gaining technical experience in automobile manufacturing, railway operations, large-scale HVAC, and in power generation. He has also worked as a radiation safety and health-physics officer at a research nuclear reactor and in medical and other settings. In experimental nuclear physics, he conducted basic research at several particle-accelerator and national laboratory facilities in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere; and is author or co-author on about 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Since 2012, he has lived in Berlin with his wife and youngest children. He speaks English, Spanish, and functional German.

Recent Content

Reset

Neue Neue Ostpolitik

On June 15, the US Senate approved an act to sharply expand sanctions imposed on Russia in retaliation for its intervention in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014. …

Pipe Dream? The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is in danger of being derail

The proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has bitterly pitted European states that back the project, including Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and France, against project opponents, including Ukraine, Poland, and …

Bypass Operation

On 18 June, during the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an agreement was signed to build a controversial new “Nord Stream 2” pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would …

Containing Gazprom

Since Russia first invaded Ukraine last year, Putin has boasted of his ability to exploit natural gas dependency to undermine European solidarity. Indeed, though the continent as a whole relies …

Washington Viewpoints: Assessing Berlin’s Role in EU Energy Security

Europe is confronted with a new geopolitical landscape, with energy a major nexus.  The Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine has shattered assumptions about the postwar and …

The EU-U.S. “Oil Weapon”

Figure 1: Presidents Rouhani of Iran and Putin of Russia holding discussions  Since Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, decided to annex Crimea and back east Ukrainian separatists with troops, many have …

The P5+1–Iran Deal

On April 3, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, together with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced a framework agreement significantly limiting Iran’s …