Harry Istepanian is a PMP certified, independent Chartered Engineer (CEng.) with more than 30 years of experience in large-scale power and water utility and IWPP projects in developing countries, including SE Asia and MENA in addition to New Zealand and Australia.
During his professional career in New Zealand and overseas, Harry was involved in more than 40 large to mid-scale projects with hands-on experience in feasibility studies, project’s economic evaluation, design, installation, and commissioning of power generation, transmission, distribution networks and most recently seawater desalination. He worked for major international engineering consultancy firms including Parsons Brinckerhoff, AECOM, Power Engineers Inc at different capacities. He was also appointed by many international organizations including the World Bank, USAID and USTDA to work on several development projects in Asia and Africa.
Harry Istepanian is considered one of the pioneer researchers in energy economics, policies and reform in post-conflict states, most specifically Iraq. During the last several years, as a senior fellow of Iraq Energy Institute, he was advocating for reforming the electricity sector in Iraq and introducing PPP as a way to resolve the country’s power shortage. He has several published op-eds, peer review articles, and conference papers published in international journals and magazines including Brookings Institute, Power Engineering International and the Electricity Journal.
Dr. Azzam Alwash was born in Kut, Iraq in 1958 and left to the United States in 1978 where he completed his graduate work with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1988. He practiced in the environmental and geotechnical field for over 20 years. Read More >
He started Eden Again, a program to put the spotlight on the drying of the marshes of southern Iraq, under the auspices of the Free Iraq Foundation, where he is a member of the board of directors. After the removal of Saddam Hussien, he moved back to Iraq to work on the restoration of the marshes and founded Nature Iraq, an Iraqi NGO focusing on the preservation of the environment of Iraq and its cultural heritage. of southern Iraq, an effort that earned him the Takreem award in 2011 and The Goldman Environmental Prize for the 2013. The story of the restoration is told in a book titled Eden Again: Hope in the marshes of Iraq, and a scientific summary of the data collected on bio diversity of Iraq over the past 15 years by scientists associated with Nature Iraq was published in a book titled Key BioDviserty Areas of Iraq.
In 2006, and in recognition of the need of Iraq to improve its undergraduate education, he became a founding member of the board of trustees of the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani. The mission of the university is to be the builder of the future leadership of Iraq and the region through the use of the liberal arts. While achieving their academic goals, students who represent the mosaic of Iraq are interacting and forming life long friendships through living together and sharing hardships as well having honest discussions about the modern and ancient history of the region. The first graduating class was in 2011 and the university now has some 1400 students with plans to expand to a 5000 students population.
Dr. Alwash is working now on issues of water and the environment through Nature Iraq and American University to promote the idea of cooperation on water management and making water an instrument of peace rather than the source of tension in the future middle east.
Feisal al-Istrabadi is the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East at the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, where he is also university scholar in international law and diplomacy at the Maurer School of Law.
He was the ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Iraq to the UN from 2004 to 2010 and was the principal legal drafter of Iraq’s interim constitution in 2003-2004.
Istrabadi is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Also, a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a senior fellow in law at the Iraq Energy Institute.
Richard Kupisz is an internationally recognised PPP expert with over 30 years’ experience in investment banking and consultancy, during which he has advised clients on privatisations, PPPs and related transactions covering more than 250 organisations in a range of sectors, with a particular emphasis on electricity. Read More >
He is currently Head of Utilities & Infrastructure for the Maxwell Stamp group, an international economics and strategy consultancy, and is a Board member of The Libra Project Asset Management, an impact investment fund focusing on renewable energy.
Richard has lived in the Middle East since 2004 and has an in depth knowledge of the region. He was based in Iraq from 2004-2005 advising on electricity sector restructuring and reforms as part of the USAID Economic Governance programme. Subsequently he was lead transaction adviser for the first tender for four IPP power plants in Iraq and also advised an international oil company on a proposed gas and power project. Elsewhere in the region Richard led a tender for 2 IPP wind farms in Syria; advised the Palestinian Authority on a solar power IPP; led a study into the reform of electricity and water tariffs in Oman and advised Dubai World Central on PPP options for district cooling.
Robin is an expert on Middle East energy strategy and economics, described by Foreign Policy as "one of the energy world's great minds". Read More >
He is the author of two books, The Myth of the Oil Crisis and Capturing Carbon, columnist on energy and environmental issues for Bloomberg and The National, and comments widely on energy issues in the media, including the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Atlantic, CNN, BBC, Sky News and others. He is a Senior Fellow with the Iraq Energy Institute. He holds a first-class degree in Geology from the University of Cambridge, and speaks five languages including Farsi and Arabic.
Fellow, International Lawyer, Iraq Energy Institute
International lawyer and Fellow of the Iraq Energy Institute. Most recently she completed a placement as legal counsel at Vannin Capital, a globally recognised third party funder. Prior to that, Noor worked as counsel on investment and commercial arbitration cases at a boutique dispute resolution practice in London. Read More >
She has had institutional experience administering a wide range of cases as a Deputy Counsel at the ICC in Paris, and has also worked in private practice over a broad range of contentious matters (arbitration and litigation) in London and Dubai. Noor is an associate editor for Kluwer Arbitration Blog and is a member of the Young Members' Steering Committee for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She writes for legal publications, and regularly organises arbitration related workshops and seminars, delivered for and in association with legal practices, universities and non-profit bodies in Europe and the Middle East.
Mohammed Mehdi Walji, Research Fellow at Iraq Energy Institute. He holds experience from Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, BG Group, Weatherford and Shell E&P. Read More >
He has a First Class Honours degree and Masters in Petroleum Engineering as well tertiary education in Economics and Arabic. His publications have revolved around Iraq’s downstream capacity, the country’s water situation and the progress of the Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP) project. He is currently working alongside professionals from Magic Circle law firms analysing Iraq’s current oil and gas legal framework.
Yesar al-Maleki is an energy economist and a Middle East observer with extensive knowledge of the intertwining subjects of energy, geopolitics, and economics in the region. Read More >
He has worked for the International Energy Agency (IEA) and various international oil companies and is the managing director of Iraq Energy Institute (IEI) in Baghdad, where he conducts research on Iraq’s and Iraqi Kurdistan's energy sectors, water challenges, economy, and politics. He is currently studying prospects of joint economic diversification in the northern region of the Persian Gulf, and has written on the impact of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) on Middle Eastern port politics, oil rentiership in the GCC, OPEC’s oil market balancing measures, Venezuela’s economic woes, and the prospects of Russian energy exports diversification.
Mr. Al-Maleki holds a master’s degree in Energy Economics & Management from Institut Francais Du Petrole and is a scholar at SciencesPo in Paris.
Robert Tollast, is a freelance political risk analyst focused on Iraq who is the editor at the Iraq Energy Institute. His previously worked for the Iraq Advisory Group, CEIS (France) and the Brecon Group.
Shawki Al-Khalisi graduated with a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the University College of Swansea, U.K, with a Post Graduate Diploma in Development from The National Institute for Planning in Baghdad, Iraq. Read More >
Al-Khalisi worked for almost 20 years at Daura Refinery in Baghdad starting as a fresh engineer then occupying several posts connected to the operation, planning, studies and management in the refinery until promoted to refinery manager. He later served as head of studies in the State Organization for Oil Refining and Gas Industry in Baghdad upon completion of his diploma. Al-Khalisi then moved on to work in the Iraqi Ministry of oil as a member of the ministerial advisory commission on refining where he was responsible for drawing plans and strategies for the refining sector in Iraq, and then moved up to become the head of the design section of crude oil refining in the State Company for Oil Projects. Shortly after, he was appointed Project Director and later Technical Director at the Industrial Design and Consultation Company where he was involved in the studies and implementations of new refinery, petrochemical and fertilizers projects in Iraq. Al-Khalisi was also a Consultant and Refining Expert in the Iraqi Minister of Oil's office before serving as an advisor on refining in the Arab Petroleum Training Institute associated with the Organization of the Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) where he remains to date. In addition, Al-Khalisi has also had experience in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna in the technical department on crude oil refining and processing, he was a part -time chemical engineering lecturer in the University of Technology in Baghdad, a member in in several professional committees such as the committee for the transfer of technology in the energy sector and the coordinating committee between the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Engineering colleges in Iraq on the petroleum Industry and a member of several contracts teams that negotiated with international companies on the design and implementation of refineries, petrochemical plants and fertilizers projects.
A Senior Fellow of Iraq Energy Institute since its inception, and an experienced UK attorney with over 18 years experience in delivering Mega Projects in infrastructure and the oil and gas sector. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he undertook an MSc in Managing Mega Programmes and has co-written articles with Luay Al Khatteeb published in international publications on issues including an Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas strategy, the rule of law and governance.
He is currently working as senior counsel at ADNOC Offshore, the world's largest offshore national oil company and involved in all aspects of strategic Mega Projects on behalf of ADNOC and some of its concession holders including international oil companies such as ExxonMobil, TOTAL CNPC, OMV and ENI.
32 years with international financial institutions in various positions including Senior Economist at the World Bank; Regional Representative for UN in the Middle East and North Africa, Director at the OPEC Fund Read More >
Successful fund-raising for the UN, the World Bank, and the OPEC Fund
Contacts at the highest political and corporate levels in the Middle East and North Africa
Advisor to the governments of Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates on investment and energy
Strong communication skills with individuals and with the mass media
Accredited to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as Energy Analyst providing TV and Press interviews on the global energy market
Managing Director of International Consultancy on Energy, Finance, and Investment.
Professor of Energy Economics and Finance at Webster University in Vienna
Ph.D. - Economics and Finance, University of Cambridge, England
M.Sc. - Statistics, London School of Economics and Political Science, England
B.S. - Economics (Honor), College of Economics and Political Science, University of Baghdad, Iraq
Haneen Latif is a Fellow at the Iraq Energy Institute. Currently based in New York, Haneen is part of the global sovereign fund consulting community. Read More >
Having served as a member of PwC's Global Sovereign Wealth Fund Team, she worked closely with established and young sovereign investment funds and pension plans around the world on a multitude of subject matters including investment governance, development of strategies and origination of investment opportunities.
Haneen is experienced in the institutional investment decision-making process, including target screening and opportunity identification, management of investment portfolios, assessment and management of portfolio risk exposures, and development of investment strategies for large, strategic, institutional investors. She has over 9 years of capital market experience and was involved in a number of projects with the Saudi Ministry of Finance and Capital Market Authority during her years in Riyadh.
Dr Uqaili graduated from the Imperial College with PhD in Petroleum Reservoir Engineering in 1974 and BSc (Hons.) in Oil Technology in 1962. In 1970, he got his MSc in Water Resources Technology from University of Birmingham. Read More >
In 1963, he joined Iraq Petroleum Company and later Basra Petroleum Company. He spent over 6 years working in Well Testing, Production and Reservoir Engineering before he left Iraq to do his postgraduate studies. In 1974/1975 he worked as Senior Reservoir Engineer with ECL Consultant LTD in London.
He returned to Iraq in May 1975 to work for Iraq National Oil Company as Head of Petroleum Engineering Department in Basra. He was then appointed Field's Manager of NOC (Kirkuk- Iraq) in 1978 then General Manager of the Central Petroleum Organisation from 1980 to 1983. In 1983, he was General Manager of Planning Department in the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad until 1986 when he joined SCOP, the State Company of Oil Projects, as a Technical Advisor.
During the years 1988-1990, he worked as Chief Engineer in charge of follow up of major Petrochemical and Fertilizers Projects in the Ministry of Industry. In June 1990, he founded Iraq Drilling Company and was appointed its first General Manager. In August 1992, he left Iraq to work in Yemen, then Libya (Area Reservoir Engineer) and later in Spain (Nov 1997- Dec 1999) as Area Reservoir Co-ordinator with Repsol Exploration SA.
During his professional career, he supervised different aspects of Oil and Industrial Research and studies and was a member of several bilateral Joint Committees representing Ministry of Oil (1980-1986). He is the author of a book in Water Injection (1990) in addition to many Technical Papers.
He worked as Independent Consultant in Exploration and Field Development during early 2001 - June 03. In July 03 he joined Baker Hughes as Business Development Manager for Iraq, then Business Development Manager - ME of Kuwait Energy, a private E&P Company during March 06- Mar 07. Dr Uqaili is the principal author of a detailed study (Hydrocarbon Exploration & Field Development in Iraq), published by CGES in London in November 07 and is being updated regularly.
Dr Uqaili has been actively involved in promoting business opportunities in Iraq. He is a Senior Associate of the CGES.
Dr Al-Chalabi (Ph.D, DIC, BSc, F.I.Pet./FEI) is a UK based International Consultant for the Energy Sector with focus on the feasibility , planning , evaluation and value additions of projects related to the utilization and/or the processing of Oil & Gas in the production and/or the generation of fuels , petrochemicals and power [with or without district heating and cooling]. Read More >
After obtaining his BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College - London University in1967, he continued with graduate studies and was awarded the Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College - London University in 1970.
From 1970 till 1990 he gained the professional experience in the Oil & Gas / Petrochemical Sectors from his employment with Shell Canada [ 6 years ] ; Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research & Advisory service to Ministry of Oil on refinery upgrading projects [ 2 years ] ; UOP ( USA & UK ), the world leader in technology / design / management in the petroleum & petrochemical sectors [ 12 years ].
Since 1990,-Dr Al-Chalabi has been an independent International Petroleum Consultant offering, to the Major International & National Oil & Energy companies, professional services ranging from strategy development and/or reviews ; studies ; planning; conceptualization of value added projects ; feasibility studies ; asset and investment evaluations ; contract negotiations ; apportionment ; expert determination.
Among the clients , who benefited from Dr Al-Chalabi’s professional Consulting services , are:- CHEM SYSTEMS, BP , KBC , Center for Global Energy Studies (CGES) , KPI ( Kuwait Petroleum International ) , KPE (Kuwait Petroleum Europe ) , PETRONAS, CHEVRON, ARC ( Aden Refining Co.), United Nations, YICOM ( Yemen) , OOC(Oman Oil Co.) Apache , Shell Egypt, Vitol ; Ministry of Oil / Iraq ; Merapoh/ Malaysia ; CWC ; MENA/OECD.
Hussain Ahmed is International Training Programmes Team Leader at Riverside College Halton, UK. He specialises in Business Development and Management in a wide range of areas related to the oil & gas industry, petrochemical, oil refineries, health & safety, environmental issues and pollution control. Read More >
With more than 12 years of industrial experience in Chemical and Oil & Gas industry, Hussain also has experience for more than 14 years in business development & consultancy. Dr Ahmed was awarded a Ph.D in Oil & Gas Production from the Heroit-Watt University in Edinburgh after gained a BSc and MSc in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Strathclyde-UK. He has a PGCE in Teaching and Training from Manchester Metropolitan University. Hussain has authored several technical papers and scientific articles; he also developed, published and taught more than 21 training manuals related to specific processes in the chemical, petrochemical and oil & gas industries in the UK, M. East, & N. Africa (Saudi, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Iraq, Dubai, Libya, Kuwait, Oman, Syria, Jordan and Bahrain.
Evan Toma is currently Chief Financial Officer of the San Diego World Affairs Council in San Diego, California and conducts independent research on countries with extractive resources (oil, gas and mining) and economic development. Previously he worked as an Economic
and Policy Researcher at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), where he created a metrics to guide policy-making decisions on when beneficiation of mineral deposits should be considered a policy paradigm in countries with iron ore deposits. He also created an executive training curriculum for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in association with the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange to help project sponsors implement Public-Private Partnerships when developing public works projects. In addition to his work in economic development, Mr. Toma has held various positions within the financial services industry, including Senior Analyst roles in Fixed Income Derivatives Operations for bulge-bracket investment banks. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in development economics from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.