Dr. Thomas W. O’Donnell is an international academic and expert analyst on energy and international affairs, especially the global oil and gas sectors. His regional work has included the USA, EU (esp. Germany), Russia, China and the OPEC states of the Middle East and Latin America (esp. Venezuela). He teaches in Berlin at Hertie School of Governance (Masters of International Affairs) and at Freie Universitӓt’s European Studies Program. Previously, he taught at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and New School University (Graduate Economics and Graduate International Affairs).  He was a DAAD fellow at the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington German energy vulnerabilities, and in 2008 and 2009 was a US Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor in Caracas at the Center for the Study of Development of the Central University of Venezuela (CENDES/UCV). O'Donnell's PhD thesis is in experimental nuclear physics (U. Michigan, Ann Arbor), having coauthored some 40 peer-reviewed physics papers. In the 1970-80’s, he worked in US automobile manufacturing, railways, and in energy engineering while an organizer of labor and social-political movements and is a writer.  In the 1990-99’s, during physics and complex-systems research at U. Michigan, he taught courses on historical technological change, Energy in the Middle East and N. Africa, on the Information Era, Energy and Environment, and advanced physics laboratories. He speaks English, Spanish and German. He resides in Berlin.

Project Summary

In recent years, Russia’s use of its natural gas exports for geopolitical ends has been a source of tension and crises for Ukraine and the Visegrád 4 (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary) relations with both Russia and Germany, as well as between Russia and Germany. In all these matters, the USA continues to play a pivotal role. For this reason, Dr. O’Donnell is conducting in-depth interviews with Washington experts and officials, for their viewpoints on energy and geostrategic relations between and among these states, and to discern the intentions of the Trump-administration and Congress.

Major Publications