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Training Programme - 6-8 May 2013: Speakers' Biographies

Mr Howard CHASE - Director, Government Affairs, Dow Europe, Zurich

Howard Chase

Mr. Howard Chase was appointed Director of Government Affairs for The Dow Chemical Company in Europe on 1 June 2012.

Mr. Chase joined Dow after a long career with BP, where he was most recently Director of European Government Affairs based in Brussels. He previously held senior government affairs posts for BP in Washington DC and Moscow and worked as a political adviser, commercial manager and plant and project engineer in many locations worldwide. Howard graduated in engineering from the University of Cambridge and has completed management studies programmes in the UK and at Harvard Business School. He is based in Horgen, Switzerland and is a member of the Dow Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) leadership team.

Amongst various external and industry roles, Mr. Chase is Chairman of the Industry Advisory Panel of the Energy Charter, Chairman of the European Risk Forum and was previously a Sherpa to the European Commission High-Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and the Environment.

Mr Christian CLEUTINX - Clingendael Institute, The Hague

Christian Cleutinx

Mr Christian Cleutinx, a Belgian, is an international expert in energy security, diplomacy and international dialogues between ‘east and west’. He has over 30 years of experience as an international civil servant and practitioner in geopolitics, international relations and energy with a special emphasis on Russia and the United States.

Up until 1 April 2011, he was the Director General of the Euratom Supply Agency at the European Commission. At the present time he advises and lectures on energy policy and geopolitics at universities, think tanks and international institutions. Earlier on in his career, following academic studies in Belgium and the United States, he joined the European Commission in 1975 and has occupied several functions in the field of energy policy. Between 1982 and 1986 he was in charge of industrial policy, anti-trust, transport, environment and energy at the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington DC. From 2000 onwards, while being in charge of fossil fuels policy and after having been an initiator of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, he coordinated the Dialogue process up until 2009.

Mr Steivan DEFILLA – Director, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Steivan Defilla

Mr Steivan Defilla (born 1959) is Director at the Energy Charter Secretariat since September 2010. Mr Defilla obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics in 1984 and a Master's degree in Statistics in 2004 at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in Energy (Federal Polytechnical Institute Lausanne, 1986) and one in Public Administration (Institute for Public Administration Lausanne, 1989).

Prior to his appointment at the Energy Charter Secretariat, Mr Defilla worked for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in Switzerland as Senior Energy Adviser, advising in particular on foreign energy policy and on the Swiss electricity sector reform. During that time, Mr Defilla also chaired the Energy Charter Group on Trade in 2000-2004, and was actively involved in the negotiations on the Trade Amendment to the Energy Charter Treaty (entered into force in 2010) and the Transit Protocol. Earlier, he was desk officer for Middle Eastern countries in the Swiss Federal Office for Foreign Economic Affairs and was among others involved in the accession of Jordan and Oman to the WTO, debt rescheduling at the Paris Club and UN sanctions enforcement against Iraq.

Mr Defilla speaks seven languages and is the author of a book and numerous articles and publications on energy policy. He is married and has two children.

Mr Patrice DREISKI – Senior Expert, Expansion and Outreach, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Patrice Dreiski

Mr Patrice Dreiski, a French national, took up his duties with the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels in September 2010. He is responsible for the relations with non-member countries in order to enable the expansion of the Energy Charter Process.

Previous to this assignment, Mr Dreiski worked for the economic and environmental dimension of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, where he was responsible for developing economic projects in order to improve and strengthen the economic situation in conflict areas. Mr Dreiski promoted and developed regional cooperation within the OSCE participating states, particularly in Central Asia, Caucasus and Balkans, on matters such as transport, energy, environment and trade relations. In 2002-2006, he was Deputy High Representative for Economic Matters in the Office of the High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr Dreiski was financial counsellor to the French delegation to the OECD. Before that, he held various positions within the French Ministry for Economy and Finance. Mr Dreiski was a member of Cabinet of the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade. In this capacity, he dealt with industry investments, energy issues and human resources.

Mr Dreiski graduated in Economics and Business Management from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and in Law from Pantheon University-Paris. Born in 1953, he is married and has one daughter.

Mr Florian ENCKE – Senior Expert, Transit, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Florian Encke

Mr Florian Encke is Senior Expert at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels. His area of work includes strategy and energy transit. In particular, Mr Encke advises on policy issues and concrete projects aimed at the modernisation of the organisation in view of current challenges. Furthermore, he focuses on the development of reliable frameworks and transparency for energy infrastructure.

Before joining the Energy Charter Secretariat, Mr Encke worked as Executive Officer in the cabinet of the Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria, advising on relations with Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia as well as on intra-agency coordination and project development. Before that, he worked as Policy Officer at the Embassy of Germany in Minsk, Belarus.

Mr Encke obtained a Master's Degree in Eastern European History and Law at Cologne University, Germany, in 2001.

Ms Edit HERCZOG – Member of the European Parliament, Brussels

Edit Herczog

Ms Edit Herczog was born in 1961 in Budapest. She obtained an engineering degree from the University of Horticulture in 1985 and a Master’s degree in Portuguese Language and Literature from the Eötvös Lóránd University of Science in 1992, followed by an additional degree from the European Business School. After completing her studies, Ms Herczog worked at the University of Horticulture.

From 1994 till 2004 she was the representative for ‘National Starch and Chemical’, which belonged to the Unilever Group until 1997. Ms Herczog joined the Hungarian Socialist Party in 1989. From 1998 to 2004 she was a member of the Hungarian National Assembly. Ms Herczog was elected to the European Parliament in 2004, where she became a full member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee and substitute member of the Industry, Research and Energy and the Budgetary Control committees. Ms Herczog currently holds a full member position in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and substitute member positions in the Budgetary Control and Budget committees, as well as treasurer of Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Furthermore, she is a member in the Presidency of the European Energy Forum, European Internet Foundation, and the Forum for the Future of Nuclear Energy and the Transatlantic Policy Network.

Prof Yury LAVROV – EU-Russia Energy Consultant

Yuri Lavrov

Professor Yury Lavrov has spent the last 12-13 years working in the oil and gas business, predominantly with the Russian oil major, Lukoil. The last 5 years of this period has predominantly focused on EU corporate affairs and legislation (based in Brussels), while the 8 years prior to that focused on the oil and gas investment strategy and related activities with Lukoil in Moscow.

Prof Lavrov reached the corporate rank of Director with Lukoil, where he was responsible for investments and oil and gas business development activities. As Head of Lukoil’s Department of Strategic Development and Evaluation he was heavily involved in corporate strategy, benchmarking, competitive analysis, marketing, forecasting and M&A activities relating to natural gas, crude oil and petroleum products both in Russia and overseas. In 1990-1999 Prof Lavrov was Vice-President of the US-Russia Trade and Economic Council and was closely involved in Russian-American business ties and business development.

During the 1980s, he was lecturing professor at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Moscow. Prof Lavrov speaks Russian, English and Danish and has a basic knowledge of French and Dutch. He is married and has two children.

Mr Philip LOWE - Director General, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission, Brussels

Philip Lowe

Mr Philip Lowe was born in Leeds in 1947. He read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St John's College, Oxford and has an M.Sc. from London Business School.

Following a period in the manufacturing industry, he joined the European Commission in 1973, and held a range of senior posts as Chef de Cabinet and Director in the fields of regional development, agriculture, transport and administration, before becoming Director-General of the Development DG in 1997. From September 2002 he was Director-General of the Competition DG until he took up his current appointment as Director-General of the Energy DG in February 2010.

Dr Eberhard MELLER – Senior Counsellor, EWE AG, Brussels

Eberhard Meller

Dr Meller completed degrees in law and political science at the Universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, Lausanne and Geneva in 1964-1969. He then went on to complete a PhD in Comparative Law in Lyon, before becoming a Junior Barrister at the South African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Johannesburg (1970-1974).

In 1975-1977 Dr Meller served as an Administrator at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bonn. In 1978-1982 he was a Principal Administrator at the International Energy Agency/OCDE, Paris. In 1983-1990 Dr Meller was Head of Department of Environmental Policy at the Federation of German Industry, Cologne. In 1991-1997 he was Head of EU Representation of the Federation of German Industry, Brussels. Then, in 1998-2009 Dr Meller was General Manager, Association of German Energy and Water Industry, Berlin. In 2009 he was appointed as the Senior Counsellor, EWE AG, Brussels Office, a position which he continues to fill at the present time.

Dr Meller is married with two children.

Mr Mehmet ÖĞÜTÇÜ - CEO, Global Resources Corporation, London

Mehmet Öğütçü

Mr Mehmet Öğütcü, a prominent energy figure on the world stage, is currently chairman of the Global Resources Corporation (UK), a regional energy finance, investment and strategy group. He also serves as an independent non-executive director on the board of Genel Energy plc, an Anglo-Turkish oil and gas major, as well as that of Yasar Holding Group, a leading Turkish conglomerate. He serves as strategic adviser to Invensys plc, Windsor Energy Group, KCS, European Policy Forum, The Oil Council, the Beijing Energy Club and the Brussels Energy Club. Mr Öğütcü leads the recently created Bosphorus Energy Club, an influential, discreet regional gathering of top government and corporate leaders. He has also been since March 2013 the Energy Charter Secretary General's special envoy for the MENA region, an honorary position to help advance the Charter Process. He has spoken at numerous conferences and written extensively on energy investment, risks and geopolitics, particularly for China, MENA, Eurasia and Turkey. Previously, he served as adviser to the late Turkish president Turgut Ozal, Director for BG Group's government relations, Head of OECD's outreach programme in Paris, International Energy Agency Principal Administrator for the Asia-Pacific region, Turkish energy diplomat, and NATO research fellow.

He can be contacted at

Ms Gabriela PRATA DIAS – Senior Expert, Energy Efficiency, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Gabriela Prata Dias

Ms Gabriela Prata Dias is Senior Expert for Energy Efficiency at the Energy Charter Secretariat since 2011. She has 20 years of professional experience in the energy field, namely focusing on energy efficiency and renewables.

Ms Prata Dias worked as project manager for the Portuguese Energy Agency and for a non-profit organisation in Portugal. She was general manager of two energy services companies belonging to the Portuguese electricity utility (EDP), the Portuguese gas & oil utility (GALP) and EDF-Energies Nouvelles from France. Ms Prata Dias was expert evaluator of the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration activities (1998-2002). She was managing partner of a sustainable energy consulting company based in Portugal. Ms Prata Dias is member of the Mobility Knowledge Network of the World Energy Council and is a founding member of the Portuguese Platform for Sustainable Growth. She is author and co-author of several reports and articles published in international reviews.

Amb Vladimir RAKHMANIN – Deputy Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Vladimir Rakhmanin

Born in Moscow in 1958, Ambassador Vladimir Rakhmanin became Deputy Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat in July 2008. Amb Rakhmanin is Russian by nationality; he completed a Masters diploma in international relations from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1980.

Amb Rakhmanin enjoyed a distinguished career in Russian civil service, including appointments as the Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry (1998-2000), Chief of Protocol of the President of the Russian Federation (2000-2002), Ambassador of Russia to Ireland (2002-2006). Before becoming Deputy Secretary General, Vladimir Rakhmanin was Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, chairing the Working Group on the Mechanism of Peace and Security in Northeast Asia of the Six-Party Talks on Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Through his career, Amb Rakhmanin was involved in energy-related issues of national and international (European and Asian) levels, organised and participated in high-level events connected with energy matters.

He speaks Russian, English and Chinese.

Amb Urban RUSNÁK – Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat

Urban Rusnák

Amb Urban Rusnák became Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat in January 2012.

Prior to his appointment with the Energy Charter Secretariat, Amb Rusnák worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic and was the Leader of the Project for Slovakia's External Energy Security. Before that, he was Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Ukraine (2005-2009), Head of the MFA Political Analysis Division (2003-2005), Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Turkey (1994-1998) and MFA Desk Officer for South Caucasus, Central Asia, CIS and South East Europe. He also held the position of Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund in Bratislava (2000-2003) and Director of the Slovak Institute for International Studies (1999-2000). Additionally, Amb. Rusnák was a Lecturer at the Kiev Slavonic University (2005-2009) and at the International Relations Faculty of the Economic University in Bratislava (2000-2003). He was also Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Slovak Institute for International Studies (2000-2003), Editor in Chief for the MFA International Issues Journal (1998-1999) and is the author of several articles on international relations, energy security, development assistance and Caspian oil and gas issues.

Mr Nigel SISMAN – Business Area Manager, Markets, ENTSOG, Brussels

Nigel Sisman

Following Mathematics and Operational Research degrees Mr Nigel Sisman's early career was spent pioneering approaches in operational research, corporate planning and industrial and commercial gas sales within British Gas.

Having developed many of the rules and processes in the original 1996 GB network code that enabled Transco to implement full domestic competition. Mr Sisman subsequently managed the evolution of GB's transmission access framework including operational responsibility for managing the daily balancing and capacity regimes and Transco’s commercial exposures. Mr Sisman developed the commercial, regulatory and organisational framework that enabled the sale of National Grid's Distribution Networks in 2005. Following a spell as National Grid Gas' Industry Engagement Manager, Mr Sisman started work on European matters during 1997 and moved to GTE+ during 2008 to focus on the creation of the establishment of the European Network of Transmission Operators for Gas (ENTSOG).

At the present time He is Senior Adviser and his responsibilities include Balancing, Tariffs, Regional Cooperation.

Dr Marat TERTEROV – Research Fellow, Knowledge Centre, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels

Marat Terterov

Dr Marat Terterov, who is originally from Odessa, USSR, is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Brussels Energy Club. He received his education in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and holds a PhD in political science from St. Antony's College, Oxford University (obtained in 2002).

Dr Terterov is known today as a Brussels-based political scientist, who has written widely on the countries of the former USSR and Middle East from the perspective of their geopolitics, domestic security and international relations. His commentaries and rather frank opinions are becoming quite visible in the international media and in frequent public meetings between experts. Dr Terterov gained experience in the energy sphere through several years of work as a conference organiser focusing on the Russian gas industry, and later with the Energy Charter Secretariat. He remains a close follower of developments in the Russian, CIS and Eurasian energy sphere, travelling extensively to participate in conferences and public debates in the region.

He speaks English and Russian fluently, while also being conversational in Egyptian Arabic and having very basic knowledge of French.