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Brenda Shaffer

Faculty Associate - Research
Energy Academic Group



Prof. Brenda Shaffer is an international energy and foreign policy specialist, focusing on the interplay between natural gas trade and foreign policy, politics and energy in the South Caucasus, Iranian natural gas exports, ethnic politics in Iran, and Eastern Mediterranean energy. Prof. Shaffer is a research faculty member of the Energy Academic Group at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. She also is Senior Advisor for Energy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think tank and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center in Washington, DC.

Prof. Shaffer is the author of several books: Energy Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity (MIT Press, 2002) and Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001). Energy Politics is used as a textbook in over 200 university courses around the globe. She has also served as the editor of Beyond the Resource Curse (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) and Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy (MIT Press, 2006). Brenda is the author of the forthcoming book Iran is more than Persia: Ethnic Politics in Iran. She is co-author of the forthcoming textbook Operational Energy.

Prof. Shaffer frequently provides research and expert counsel to international institutions, governments, energy companies, financial institutions, and regional security organizations. Shaffer has served as an advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Energy on policy related to the major natural gas discoveries in Israel. She has advised several companies involved in Caspian energy production and export. She has given testimony to several committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and to the European Parliament. Brenda frequently appears on Bloomberg TV and in major news outlets worldwide to provide insight on developments in the global oil market.
NPS Experience
  • 2020 - current: Faculty Associate - Research
Research Interests
Geopolitics of energy, natural gas trade and foreign policy, South Caucasus, Caspian region, Middle East, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey