Meghan L. O’Sullivan

Meghan L. O’Sullivan

Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project, Harvard Kennedy School; North America Chair, The Trilateral Commission

Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, and the Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She is also a Partner at the strategic consulting firm Macro Advisory Partners and is the Chair of the North American Group of the Trilateral Commission.

Meghan draws on her broad experience in government, business, diplomacy, and academia to shed insights into foreign policy and national security, energy markets, the transition to a net-zero global economy, and the geopolitics of that transition to benefit her students and colleagues, the U.S. government, global businesses, and the public debate.  

Meghan has extensive experience in policy formulation and in negotiation. She is currently a member of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of her tenure. There, she helped run two strategic policy reviews: one on Afghanistan in the summer of 2006 and one on Iraq in late 2006 and early 2007, which led to the “surge” strategy. In her job at the National Security Council, Meghan was responsible for building consensus around new policy directions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as overseeing their execution. Meghan spent two years in Iraq during which she helped negotiate the Transitional Administrative Law, which was the interim constitution of Iraq from 2004-2006, and conclude the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq. From July 2013 to December 2013, Meghan was the Vice Chair of the All Party Talks in Northern Ireland, which sought to resolve outstanding in the peace process. She also worked in the office of Policy Planning in the State Department under Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Meghan is on the board of Raytheon Technologies and the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also a member of the International Advisory Group for the British law firm, Linklaters, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and a consultant to companies. She is a trustee of the International Crisis Group and a member of the board of The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization to help veterans. She is also on the advisory committee for the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute as well as Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy. She was a Henry Crown Fellow from 2015-2017 and a Henry Luce Fellow from 1991-1992.

Meghan has written several books and many articles on international affairs, including her award winning 2017 book Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power. She has been awarded the Defence Department’s highest honor for civilians, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, and three times been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. In 2008, Esquire Magazine named her one of the most influential people of the century. O’Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, a masters of science in economics, and doctorate in politics from Oxford University. She holds a Top Secret/SCI Security Clearance from the U.S. government.