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Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities in a Lower Carbon Future

The “Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities in a Lower Carbon Future” conference will address emerging security challenges and opportunities resulting from global efforts to lower CO2 emissions by reducing consumption of high-carbon energy sources.

 The link between energy policy and national security is well established, but the specter of climate change has elevated the urgency of this debate and concentrated attention on the international dimension of the energy-security nexus.  Current energy debates are animated by a variety of diverse interest groups, intergovernmental organizations, industry leaders, and security experts.  Although there is wide consensus among these groups regarding the need to transition to a lower-carbon society, the path of this transition is hotly contested.

“Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities in a Lower Carbon Future” will bring together prominent academic voices as well as experienced practitioners and policymakers, offering an opportunity to “bridge the gap” between these sectors.  Participants in the conference will identify critical issues, challenge competing perspectives, and forge productive long-term, policy-informing partnerships.


Wednesday, April 27, 20228:30 am – 5:00 pm


Georgia Center forContinuing Education

1197 S. Lumpkin StreetAthens, GA 30602

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7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – 8:50 AM

Welcome and Opening Comments

8:50 AM – 10:20 AM: Panel #1: Energy and Geopolitics

RDML (ret.) Michael Hewitt (Co-founder and CEO, IP3)

Dr. Tomas Janeliunas (Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University)

Dr. Justin Conrad (Gary K. Bertsch Director of the Center for International Trade and Security and Associate Professor of International Affairs, University of Georgia)

10:20 AM – 10:40 AM: 


10:40 AM – 12:10 PM: Panel #2: Energy Resources and Technologies

Dr. Valerie Thomas (Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems and Professor in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology)

John Harju (Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the Energy and Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota)

Dr. Richard Axelbaum (Director of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization and head of the Laboratory for Advanced Combustion and Energy Research, Washington University in St. Louis)

12:10 PM – 1:30 PM: 


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Panel #3: Energy Infrastructure & The Grid

Jeff Grubb (Director of Resource Policy & Planning, Georgia Power)

Laura Schepis (Chief External Affairs Officer, JEA)

Dr. David Gattie (Associate Professor of Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security, University of Georgia)


3:00 PM – 3:30 PM:


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Panel #4: Supply Chains

Rob Sweeney (nXSolutions)

Will Cook (Vice President, QED Analytics)

Dr. Gopi Munisamy (Professor of Agricultural & Advanced Economics and Faculty Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security, University of Georgia)


 Questions? Contact Justin Conrad at [email protected].

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