Current projects include consulting and guiding financial and public relations firms on the confluence of energy markets and geopolitics and completing a book, “Saudi, Inc.” to be published by Pegasus Books in early 2018. I am a contributor at Forbes.com and a columnist for investing.com where I write about issues in geopolitics, oil pricing, and energy markets. I also teach Middle East history and policy at Jacksonville University.
“Saudi, Inc.” presents the history of Saudi Arabia through the central figure of Aramco, the oil company that brought riches, success, and regional dominance to its ruling family, al Saud. It will be released in 2018, as Saudi Aramco prepares to launch its much-anticipated IPO, expected to be the largest in history with a possible valuation of up to $2 trillion. The book debut will also come amid the Kingdom’s massive investment in its Vision2030 plan for economic diversification; the rebirth of an economic and diplomatic relationship with the U.S. worth hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in both directions; and preparation by the next generation to take leadership positions in the Kingdom – transforming society, business, and the state. See the announcement here.
I grew up just outside of Philadelphia. I earned an A.B. magna cum laude in history from Princeton University with specialties in Near Eastern studies and creative writing. As a graduate student at Boston University, I studied the American and Middle-Eastern energy industries with both an economist and a foreign relations specialist. I have conducted significant research on geopolitics and energy markets at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, the National Archives, the British Petroleum Archives, and the British National Archives. My dissertation was entitled, “The United States, Great Britain and the Middle-Eastern Oil Industry, 1945-1960.”
- “Energy and Environment: Trump, Paris Climate Agreement, and Exxon,” France24
- “Money Talks: Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to extend oil output cut,” TRT World
- “Tax Cut Shows Saudi Arabia Committed to IPO,” Energy Intelligence, by Amena Bakr
- “OPEC, non-OPEC to look at extending oil-output cut by six months,” Reuters, by Vladimir Soldatkin and Rania El Gamal
- “Amid U.S.-Mexico acrimony, energy might present common ground and opportunity, analysts say,” Los Angeles Times, by Laura Tillman
- The Mitch Albom Show
- CTV (Canada), Marcia MacMillan
- LBC (U.K.), Shelagh Fogerty
- CNN, CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin
- Reuters TV, 169th OPEC Meeting Preview
- Reuters TV, Implications of Saudi Arabia’s Vision2030
- “Why do global oil prices remain so stubbornly erratic?,” BBC History Magazine. Interview by Chris Bowlby
- “Oil’s comeback gives U.S. global leverage,” The New York Times, Energy Special Section, by David Wallis
- “Venezuela’s Melt Down Explained By The ‘Oil Curse’,” Forbes.com, May 2017
- “Is Profitability Finally In Sight For Shale Oil Producers?” investing.com, May 2017
- “Is Driving Next? Saudi Arabia Relaxes Rules For Women,” Forbes.com, May 2017
- “Recognize The Value Of North American Energy Trade,” InsideSources, April 2017.
- “Should You Invest Your Tax Refund In Oil?” Forbes.com, March 2017.
- “The World’s Biggest IPO Is Coming: What You Should Know About Aramco,” Forbes.com, February 2017.
- “No Doubt About It: NAFTA Favors Mexico When It Comes To Energy,” Forbes.com, February 2017.
- “OPEC Production Cheaters: Who’s Cutting, Who’s Not,” investing.com, January 2017.
- “Increased energy security will strengthen U.S. foreign policy,” TheHill, December 2016.
- “8 Reasons Exxon’s Rex Tillerson Could Succeed As Secretary Of State,” Forbes.com, December 2016.
- “Tesla’s Shiny Solar Roofs Are No Game-Changer,” Forbes.com, November 2016
- “Alaska’s 10 Billion Barrel Oil Discovery: What You Need To Know,” Forbes.com, October 201
- “Saudi Arabia Is Buying Up America’s Oil Assets,” Forbes.com, September 2016
- “Ethanol isn’t worth the trouble – here’s why,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, September 2016
Selected Speaking Engagements:
- “Beyond the Texas Railroad Commission: Thirty Years of American Precedent for OPEC,” Abu Dhabi
- “A New Oil Frontier: How the United States Built Saudi Arabia’s Oil Industry,” Wyoming
- “Petroleum, Pipelines, Politics: The Fate of a Pipeline,” Wyoming
- “Iran: Politics, Diplomacy, Religion,” Florida
- “You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss:” International Bechtel Inc. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1946-1954,” Business History Conference & European Business History Association in Miami, Florida
- “Kurdistan and a Future of Peace,” Florida
- “Egypt’s Experiment With Democracy: the Evolution of Political Instability,” Florida
- “Petroleum Pipelines and the Culture of Environmentalism: the Northern-Tier Pipeline Company in Puget Sound,” Ohio
- “Oilmen in the Beltway: Fighting the Enemy with Business and Government,” Wyoming
- “Syria 101: an Explanation of the Current Crisis,” Georgia
- “A Revolution Denied: Overcoming the Nationalization of Iranian Oil,” Connecticut
- “A Cooperative Endeavor: Aramco and the U.S. Government in the Desert Frontier, 1950-1955,” Pennsylvania
- “Castles in the Sand: American Corporations in Saudi Arabia, 1945-1955,” Oxford, UK
Past Appointments Include:
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle East History, University of Georgia
- Bernard L. Majewski Fellow in Economic Geology at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
- Lecturer in History and International Relations, Boston University
- Visiting Scholar, Cambridge University
I have conducted research in English, Hebrew, and Farsi. I am knowledgeable in Arabic and Spanish.
Contact Ellen R. Wald:
I can be reached here.