Ambassador Daniel Fried is the Atlantic Council’s Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow. In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As special assistant and NSC senior director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, ambassador to Poland, and assistant secretary of state for Europe (2005-09), Ambassador Fried crafted the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations, thus advancing the goal of Europe whole, free, and at peace. During those years, the West’s community of democracy and security grew in Europe. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine starting in 2014: as State Department coordinator for sanctions policy, he crafted US sanctions against Russia, the largest US sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
Ambassador Fried became one of the US government’s foremost experts on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. While a student, he lived in Moscow, majored in Soviet studies and history at Cornell University (BA magna cum laude 1975), and received an MA from Columbia’s Russian Institute and School of International Affairs in 1977. He joined the US Foreign Service later that year, serving overseas in Leningrad (human rights, Baltic affairs, and consular officer), and Belgrade (political officer), and in the Office of Soviet Affairs in the State Department.
As Polish desk officer in the late 1980s, Fried was one of the first in Washington to recognize the impending collapse of Communism in Poland, and helped develop the immediate response of the George H.W. Bush Administration to these developments. As political counselor at the US Embassy in Warsaw (1990-93), Fried witnessed Poland’s difficult but ultimately successful free market, democratic transformation, working with successive Polish governments.
Ambassador Fried also served as the State Department’s first special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo (GTMO) Detainee Facility. He established procedures for the transfer of individual detainees and negotiated the transfers of seventy detainees to twenty countries, with improved security outcomes.
Dr. Kirsten Westphal is based at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. For more than 50 years, the SWP has provided analysis on foreign policy issues not only to the Bundestag and the German Federal Government, but also to economic actors and the general public.
Dr. Westphal is assigned for International Energy Relations and Global Energy Security at the institute. She was a Member of the Expert Panel to the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation in 2018-2019 and contributed to the Commission’s Report “A New World”, published in 2019. In parallel, she has been leading the Project “Geopolitics of Energy Transformation 2030 (GET 2030)” supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. Over the course of 2019/2020 the follow-up project (EU GET 2030) examines the geopolitics of the energy transformation from the EU’s perspective. This project involves IFRI in Paris, PISM in Warsaw; and Real Instituto Elcano in Madrid. It is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Since 2015, Westphal has been conducting a series of Track 2 dialogues with Russia and Poland, with the kind support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Previously, she has worked as a consultant in the energy industry. She has experience in international election observation missions of the OSCE and EU. She is on the Advisory Board of the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK) Foundation, Budapest, member of the Scientific Council of the Royal Institute Elcano, Madrid, and on the Editorial Board of the European Energy & Climate Journal.
She has published widely on international energy relations and EU external energy relations. Her books include Global Energy Governance in a Multipolar World (Aldershot/ Burlington Ashgate 2010); and The Political and Economic Challenges of Energy in the Middle East and North Africa (Routledge, 2018). Her recent publications on the geopolitics of energy transformation, on energy security reimagined in times of decarbonization and on the operationalization of SDG 7 have appeared in Nature, Global Policy, Energy Strategy Review, European Energy Journal and at SWP among others.