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Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Autumn Conference 2023 — speakers CVs

Dr Fatih Birol

Executive Director
International Energy Agency, Paris

Dr Fatih Birol (@fbirol) has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has moved to the forefront of global efforts to reach international climate goals, safeguard energy security and manage the social and economic impacts of clean energy transitions. Dr Birol took up his current position after rising through the ranks of the IEA, starting as a junior analyst in the mid-1990s and eventually serving as Chief Economist responsible for the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook. Dr Birol has been named in the TIME100, TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people. He has also been named by Forbes as one of the most influential people in the world of energy. He is an honorary life member of Galatasaray Football Club.

Terje Aasland

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy

Terje Aasland was appointed Minister of Petroleum and Energy for the Labour Party in Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre’s government March 2022.

Terje Aasland was born in 1965 and grew up in Skien, Norway.

He has been elected to the Parliament for the Labour Party from Telemark county since 2005 where he has been member and leader of the parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment and the parliament’s Standing Committee on Business and Industry.

Aasland is a certified powerline worker (1986) and worked in several power companies in the Telemark region before being elected to the Norwegian parliament in 2005.

His political background includes positions as a city council member in Skien for the Labour Party, leader of the Labour Party in Telemark and central board member of the Labour Party since 2011.

Ambassador Christoph Heusgen

Chairman of the Munich Security Conference

Ambassador Christoph Heusgen has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) since 2022. He teaches Political Science at the University of Saint Gallen.

Christoph Heusgen was Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations between 2017 and 2021. Prior to this appointment and since 2005, Heusgen was the Foreign Policy and Security Adviser to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. He served as Director of the Policy Unit for High Representative Javier Solana in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union from 1999 to 2005. Between 1988 and 1999, Heusgen served in various capacities at the Foreign Office in Bonn, including Deputy Director-General for European Affairs from 1997 to 1999.

Heusgen is a graduate of the University of Saint Gallen in Switzerland, studied at Georgia Southern College in the United States, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Dr. Kristin Ven Bruusgaard

Director of NORIS, Norwegian Intelligence School

Dr. Kristin Ven Bruusgaard is Director of the Norwegian Intelligence School, NORIS. She served as the Deputy Leader of the 2021 Norwegian Government Defence Commission, providing advice on future Norwegian defence policy for the next 10-20 years. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow (Assistant Professor) of Political Science at the University of Oslo, a Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow and a Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow at the Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University, a Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), and a senior security policy analyst in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Her academic research focuses on Soviet and Russian nuclear strategy, nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence, crisis and deterrence dynamics in Europe and the Arctic/High North. She holds a Ph.D. in Defence Studies from King’s College London and an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University. She is a certified language officer in the Norwegian Army. Her work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Security Dialogue, Journal of Strategic Studies, Survival, War on the Rocks, Texas National Security Review, Parameters and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and by Cambridge University Press. She was awarded the 2020 Amos Perlmutter Prize from the Journal of Strategic Studies for her article on Russian Nuclear Strategy and Conventional Inferiority.

Anders Opedal

President and Chief Executive Officer, Equinor

Anders Opedal has been the President and CEO of Equinor since November 2020.

Opedal joined Equinor in 1997, and has held senior leadership positions since 2007, including heading up Equinor’s project and procurement organization and been country manager in Brazil.

Driven by the company’s purpose to turn natural resources into energy for people and progress for society, Anders Opedal has presented ambitions for Equinor to reach net zero by 2050. Optimizing oil and gas, accelerating renewables and building low carbon value chains are the pillars of the strategy.

Opedal holds a master's degree in engineering from The Norwegian University of Technology (NTNU) and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.