About Me – Dr. Thomas W. O’Donnell

My expertise is in global energy and international affairs, especially oil and gas as concerns Latin America, the Middle East, USA, China and the EU.   I am both an academic and analyst.  

I’m presently a Fellow at the AICGS (American Institute of Contemporary German Studies) in Washington, DC during April and May 2015, studying  “US Expert Viewpoints on German [& EU] Energy Vulnerabilities.” (Funded by the German DAAD and the Foreign Office)

My full academic CV is here, and links to post-graduate seminars are below.  In 2016 I will be teaching at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and Freie University-Berlin.

ANALYSIS: I’ve recently written for  The GlobalBarrel.com, Americas Quarterly (NYC), IP Journal (Berlin) and Petroguía (Caracas).  

CONSULTING: I am a Senior Analyst at Wikistrat and consult with various other geopolitical, business-intelligence, and advisory firms and enjoy giving public and private talks.  My work in energy and geopolitics is unusual because:

  • I have a high competency in science, mathematics and technology (PhD in  experimental nuclear physics)
  • Extensive contacts in the energy sector and diplomacy—esp. in Latin America, the USA and Europe.
  • And, before doing my PhD, I spent 10 years in industry, gaining  technical experience in  the energy and transport sectors, including automobile manufacturing, railway operations, large-scale HVAC and power generation.


My most popular seminar has been Geopolitics of Global Oil and courses on Iran, Iraq, the Arab SpringEnvironmental Economics, and especially Latin American Development.

I also taught in Science, Technology and Society (STS) at U Michigan, examining the tech and social transformations of the Information Age.

OPEC  I’ve especially focused on Venezuela, Iran, Algeria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — and on their relations with especially the USA and China.

VENEZUELA I spent two full years (Jan 2008- Jan 2009) in Caracas as a US Fulbright Scholar (2008) and visiting professor at the  Centro  de  Estudios  del  Desarrollo, (Center for Study of Development) at the Central University of Venezuela (CENDES-UCV) researching oil affairs and the Bolivarian state. I have extensive contacts there and continue that work.
NUCLEAR PHYSICS, I’m author or co-author of some 38 peer-reviewed papers on fundamental research at U.S. and overseas universities and national labs, listed in my CV.

LANGUAGES I speak English (native), fluent Spanish and am improving my German.  Once upon a time I could chat in Mandarin Chinese.



7 responses to “About Me – Dr. Thomas W. O’Donnell

  1. Is your email address still twod at umich dot edu? (no need to publish this, just making sure…I want to share something with you.)


  2. So did you get my email? We should talk…


  3. Mr. O’Donnell,

    I have followed your blog with great interest the last year or so.

    I am currently finishing a bachelor’s degree in finance and I’m looking to get into the petroleum industry. I really enjoy geopolitics, and like you, have an extra interest for Middle East and Latin-America.

    Anyways, my question is, what kind of school/program/degree would you recommend for me as far graduate programs go? What would you consider more relevant for me in order to pursue a career in oil trading?



    • Hello Hvalbye
      Thanks for you interest in the blog. I’d be happy to give you what advice i can. It depends a bit on what type of work you are interested in. The schools that focus on geopolitics have different emphases. Perhaps you can send me an e-mail at “twod at umich.edu” and we can discuss your interests a bit more.


  4. Estimada Karina,

    Si. Por supuesto.

    Puedas llarme por Skype (nombre: tom.od) o mi celular. Por favor, enviame un correo a twod@umich.edu y te enviare mis numeros celulares.

    Saludos, Tom O’D.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s