Energy Security in India

As demonstrated by the largest blackout in the country’s history, India’s economic growth and rapidly expanding population are putting huge strains on its power grid, raising fundamental questions about its ability to meet the rising demand. Writing in New Europe, EWI Senior Fellow Danila Bochkarev examines India’s and Pakistan’s energy shortages and possible solutions. Based on a broader policy paper due out later this year, he argues that the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI) and the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Trade Project (CASA 1000) must become a reality to meet the energy demands of India and Pakistan and to allow for continued economic growth and development in this region.

Yemen's Water Crisis: The Urgent Need for Action

EWI's Nathan Wendt and Laith Aqel review obstacles to water resilience in Yemen.

Two years ago, EastWest Institute President John Edwin Mroz warned about the looming water crisis in the Republic of Yemen.  Unfortunately, little has improved.  Despite much international attention and a change in regime, Yemen remains in a dire situation, positioned as the first country to run out of water. Enormous consumption coupled with poor management and a growing population places a tremendous strain on already diminished water supplies.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the region with a nominal per capita GDP of 1460 USD and an annual growth rate of -2.5%. The low-income country is dependent on rapidly declining oil resources. Yemen’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the world, and economic insecurity is exacerbated by the high population growth rate. The vast majority of citizens are below the age of thirty.

The political and economic challenges of Yemen are compounded by a looming ecological disaster. Annual per capita water availability in Yemen is 115 m3; this is less than 10% of the regional average and 2% of the world average. In rural areas, only 38% of the people have access to safe water, and the corresponding figure for urban areas is 59%. With no permanent rivers, the country depends largely on groundwater extraction as well as rainfall and its diversion. Annual groundwater withdrawal (from wells and springs) exceeds recharge at an alarming rate. Approximately 90% of all water consumed is in the agricultural sector.   

To address concerns regarding dwindling water resources and its management, the government of Yemen established the National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) in 1995 and the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) in 2003. Following the creation of the MWE, the government developed the National Water Sector Strategy and Investment Program, 2005-2009 (NWSSIP), which outlines objectives, policies and approaches as well as plans of action. In 2002, the House of Representatives accepted the Water Law, which describes a licensing procedure for wells.

Reducing the gap between consumption and available renewable resources is a governmental priority. One way is by increasing the efficiency of water use. Irrigation efficiency is as low as 30%. Several projects have sought to install more efficient localized irrigation systems, but the costs are high. To enhance water conveyance and distribution efficiency, the government has replaced traditional, earthen canals with PVC and GI pipes. The FAO estimates that irrigation efficiency could reach 60% by constructing a conveyance pipe system and over 80% by utilizing localized irrigation systems, which would further increase average yields of crops.

The government is already investing in groundwater recharge and harvesting techniques. Yemen also has the longest sea coasts, introducing the possibility of desalination as utilized in other Gulf countries, though transportation of water from the coastline to the highlands still poses a problem.

International donors have been active in Yemen, working closely with the government to achieve the goals of NWSSIP. Germany, the Netherlands and the World Bank are financing a number of projects as well as assisting in the development of comprehensive water policies;  other countries, such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, provide significant bilateral foreign aid for development projects and humanitarian needs. Established in January 2010, ‘Friends of Yemen’ recently met in Riyadh to reaffirm their commitment to the country. The group of forty countries and intergovernmental organizations pledged a total of 4 billion USD, 3.25 billion USD from the KSA alone. The United States government intends to provide at least 118 million USD in civilian assistance to Yemen this year.

Through the combined efforts of the international donor community and national agencies, there have been some notable changes in water management in Yemen. Decentralization of water management has led to the creation of Water User Groups (WUGs), Water Users Associations (WUAs) and Water User Ligaments (WULs). Such groups manage resources locally, concerning themselves with a broad range of measures like the location and depth of wells, recharge measures and management of reservoirs. Delegates from these institutions are then supposed to form larger committees at the basin level with government officials, creating a bridge between local and federal authorities.

Despite all these efforts, there are many obstacles to the adaption of an effective water management plan in Yemen. With the political unrest and the dire situation of the economy, the already weak government is more than stretched. As a new agency in the young state, the NWRA is still in the capacity-building stage. Despite formulating a comprehensive theoretical basis on water management and gaining support from the international community, the NWRA hasn’t been particularly effective to date. The overstaffed agency has yet to establish a presence in each of the twenty-two governorates or to demonstrate its overall competence. The Water Law of 2002 is not sufficiently monitored; violations, including unlicensed drilling, occur frequently. The agency is also weakened by the ongoing power struggle between the state and the tribal authorities, who often resist laws and regulations of the central government. 

Because agriculture accounts for the most water usage, the MWE must work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MAI). But the attempts to increase cooperation between the two ministries haven’t produced many tangible results. In late 2007, the Yemeni government formed an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMSC) to coordinate integrated water resource management between MWE, MAI, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Local Administration (MoLA), and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC). However, the IMSC has rarely convened, and when it has, it has been at the request of international donors.

Management of water resources ultimately is a Yemen livelihood issue, and thus ownership of the solution must come from within the state.  There remains a need for strong coordination between the various ministries involved. Water is a cross-cutting issue, and its management must be at the forefront of national policy. The international community--in particular, Saudi Arabia--should work closely with the Yemeni government to reevaluate current water policies. The need is both glaringly evident and long overdue.

Rio+20: Ecology and Economy in Focus

Disparate forces are inevitably colliding this week as world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro to take part in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Disparate forces are inevitably colliding this week as world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro to take part in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The goal of the conference is to bring together participants from around the globe to discuss how to improve worldwide coordination of policies that foster sustainable development and alleviate poverty.

One of the ideological battles taking place in Brazil, and around the world, is how to reconcile the immediate demand for energy with the longer term needs for sustainability. Two of the most visible opponents in this conflict are Greenpeace and Shell Oil.

At the Earth Summit in Rio, Greenpeace unveiled a campaign for a UN resolution that would curb Arctic oil exploration. What has recently raised the ire of Greenpeace is Shell’s plan to commence petroleum exploration in the Arctic region as the thawing ice cap opens up previously inaccessible areas.

Shell, for its part, says that the Arctic may hold the equivalent of 400 billion barrels of oil and that exploration of the area is vital to securing petroleum resources needed to meet rising global energy demands.

The Rio Earth Summit has been convened in hopes of finding sustainable solutions to problems like this. The relationship between economic and environmental interests is also a major focus area of the EastWest Institute. EWI’s economic security initiative is dedicated to securing a better global future through private-public partnerships that develop consensus and cooperation on issues ranging from protecting the digital economy to devising new strategies to deal with water, food and energy scarcity. Recent and upcoming efforts include the Affordable World Security Conference in March, 2012, and the 9th Annual Worldwide Security Conference to be held November, 2012 in Brussels.

The Rio+20 conference follows in the footsteps of 1992 Earth Summit, which also met in Brazil. Like the current conference, the air was  to rethink the current path of economic growth in light of future dilemmas facing the environment and social development. Among the issues that were discussed: Increased desertification, threats to the oceans, deterioration of infrastructure and limited access to fuel, food and water.

In tandem with Rio+20, a group of mayors from 58 of the world’s megacities also met in Rio de Janeiro to tackle climate change. This gathering, dubbed Rio+C40, presented innovative methods to deal with fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, sources of alternative energy, landfill and infrastructure maintenance and more efficient transportation programs.

Coinciding with these two meetings was another gathering to the north: the G20 Leaders Summit. The leaders the world’s most developed economies met in Los Cabos, Mexico to discuss the international financial system. They focused on the global economy, specifically Europe’s current crisis. While the G20 and the global financial system captured far more immediate public attention, the Rio Earth Summit raised issues that are critical to long-term sustainability.

For its part, EWI is intent on continuing to spur new efforts to reconcile current needs, growth and sustainability. We do not feel that these goals are contradictory. As Shell points out, there is growing demand for energy. But, as Greenpeace noted, there is also an urgent need for new climate initiatives. Beyond the Rio+20 summit, all of the key players will need to work towards overcoming their current differences to promote economic development that is both sustainable and productive.

The Role of Hunger in World Security

While Memorial Day in the United States often serves as the unofficial start of summer, a day celebrated with barbecues and picnics, this past Monday it also coincided with World Hunger Day. The idea behind World Hunger Day is to bring attention to the millions of people around the world, over one billion, who see the onset of summer not as a celebration but as another season in which they will struggle to endure the blight of severe hunger.

Chronic hunger has real implications for both the developed and developing world. For those that suffer from it, it is all that matters, and to those not directly affected by it, hunger is a destabilizing force on a regional and global scale.

Hunger is an extreme symptom of food insecurity, and earlier this month EastWest Institute President John Mroz addressed the issue when he gave a talk titled “Stepping Up to the New Global Realities.” Mroz explained how the inability to access sufficient food, along with the inaccessibility of sufficient energy and water, are key factors leading to political tension and social unrest around the globe.

The World Bank has noted that as food prices spiked in 2010-2011 48 million people were kept under, or sank below, the poverty line. Volatile commodity prices mean that many of those people face food scarcity, making it even more difficult for them to better their lot.

The overarching predicament is not a Malthusian dilemma in which population outstrips resources, but instead a problem of logistics. The problem is not that there is simply too little food in the world to feed everyone. What is missing are linkages that would allow those in areas of abject poverty to gain access to the life-sustaining components necessary to flourish—food, water and energy.

This issue was addressed just before the recent G8 summit as U.S. President Barack Obama joined public and private groups and individuals at the 3rd Annual Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security. The meeting was hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and explored ways to sustainably alleviate the issues of poverty which are exacerbated by food scarcity.

Speaking to an audience of nearly 50 international organizations and companies, Obama announced his New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a public-private partnership intended to tackle the issue of food insecurity through a confluence of private sector capital and public initiatives. These efforts will be aimed at agricultural development through micro-finance, education, health care efforts, infrastructure improvements and indigenous economic growth.

The international relief agency Oxfam is supportive of the initiative, but says it puts too much emphasis on private contributions to alleviate poverty to the exclusion of previously pledged government efforts to develop stronger and more substantive public programs.

Obama has stressed that food security is a moral, economic and security imperative. At the EastWest Institute our efforts, like the Economic Security Initiative and Affordable World Security Conference, seek to address this issue by working toward coordinated policies that can provide better access to food, water and energy to regions of the world that need them the most.

Humanity's Future: Envisioning the Worst Case Scenario

Fred Guterl is the exectuive editor of Scientific American and a speaker at the Affordable World Security Conference, coming to the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on March 27–28, 2012. He spoke with EWI's Thomas Lynch on potential environmental crises and how they can be addressed.

I’d like to start by addressing your upcoming book The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause its own Extinction and How We Can Stop It.  In the book, you consider whether humanity is currently undergoing a “mass extinction event.” Well, are we?

Many scientists think so, but there isn’t enough evidence to make an iron-clad case. The book is then a bit of a thought experiment. A lot people think we’re getting in some hot water the way things are heading on our planet. Behind the headlines, you see oblique references to things that could happen in the worst case. You read about climate change, things like bird flu or crop monocultures. So I decided to put the idea in the foreground and examine the notion of what the worst case scenario could be.

If we are headed for a “mass extinction event,” how long would it take?

When you look back on previous extinction events, they seem to have taken place over millions of years, but we don’t know if that’s necessarily the case. It is possible some of these mass extinction events took place very rapidly—not necessarily over a weekend but over a span of time that is meaningful for human beings. You could argue that, if we are in the middle of an extinction event, it might have started 14,000 years ago with the Pleistocene extinction of large mammals. Following that is the impact of agriculture, coming up to the present industrial age when we began pumping carbon dioxide in the air, and you are seeing many effects now. 

Would the development and use of technology then be the driving factor behind such an event?

Our species has been tremendously successful and we have technology to thank to that to a large degree. If we are going to get out of the mess we’re in, technology is going to play an important role. Some tend to be close minded because they feel technology has caused many of our current problems, which is true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should reject all technological solutions.

Can you provide an example of technology being used as a solution?

I’ll give you a dramatic one. It’s an indisputable fact that the planet is warming. How much it’s going to warm in the future is not known. How the planet is going to respond to rising temperatures isn’t known either. It is possible the planet could respond very badly in 10 to 20 years and, if rising temperatures became a crisis, one option that has been looked at it is releasing sulphates into the upper atmosphere to form a kind of haze that would temporarily lower temperatures.

This actually happened following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, where it became two degrees cooler for a couple of years. A few scientists have posed this scenario as a potential measure of last resort. Of course, these people have trouble getting funding, and some people reject this kind of geo-engineering out of hand because it could be seen as an excuse to continue polluting unabated. You hear these arguments a lot.

What policy actions internationally and nationally can be created to address these issues?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy prescription, but for that geo-engineering case it would be helpful to fund research to determine, if we had to do this, what would it involve, what would the risks be, would it work, what would the consequences be, etc. Knowing the answers to those questions would be helpful.

For the Affordable World Security Conference your panel topic is human safety and sustainable security. How do you see sustainability influencing security policy?

Broadly speaking, human populations are growing very quickly. If you look back to the beginning of the century you have something like a billion people and then when I was growing up in the late 50’s there were about 3 billion people; the U.N is expecting 10 billion before we top off by 2100. So we have this huge ramp up in the last 100 years—an exponential growth. I think we are just now starting to see the impact in terms of climate. We ramped up agriculture to feed all these people, created conditions for new germs to come along, and so forth. If an ecologist looked at population of bacteria growing that quickly, he would say that can’t happen indefinitely, and at some point that population is going to crash.

The population can’t just grow and then level off?

The population could level off, but it could also go down suddenly. We don’t want that to happen, obviously. What is the right number of humans on the planet? Gretchen Daily and Paul Ehrlich did a study in 1994 and they came to the number of 2 billion. It was practically a back of the envelope calculation, but that is a lot less than the 7 billion people we have now. The point is, if that’s where we have to be, we don’t want to get there too quickly. If the human population crashes, the security implications are huge.


For Twitter updates on these issues, follow Fred Guterl: @fredguterl and the Affordable World Security Conference: @AWSConference

Boston Globe Quotes EWI's Greg Austin on Clean Energy in China

The Boston Globe's Erin Ailworth quoted EWI's Greg Austin in a story about opportunities and challenges in the clean energy industry in China. The relevant passage:

"At the same time, China is trying to wean itself from fossil fuels such as coal - the country’s main power source - to reduce the choking air pollution that leads many to wear surgical masks on city streets. China has set aggressive goals for renewable, nonpolluting sources, such as installing 150 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2020 - enough to power nearly a third of US homes.

"'Strategically, this is a desperately high priority for the Chinese leadership,' said Greg Austin, of the EastWest Institute, a New York think tank specializing in Asian affairs. 'They will ravenously devour any type of clean technology to help them manage their problems.'"

Read the full story.

The Boston Globe
Source Author: 
Erin Ailworth

National Resilience In The Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

In partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, the EastWest Institute convened a retreat on “National Resilience in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula” from Oct. 17–21, 2011

This retreat was supported by a series of other consultations on the same subject which ran from mid-September until the end of October. These discussions engaged some 40 recognized leaders in global and regional policy, high-level private sector actors, and world-renowned research specialists in Brussels, London and Washington DC. The main outcome of the retreat was the shaping of a set of recommendations for G20 governments available with the event report here:




EWI Welcomes New Board Members

The EastWest Institute announced six new board members this month, adding years of insight into areas such as China, military affairs, resource security, and the economy.

“The success of the Institute’s work depends on the valuable experience of its board members to enable its unique convening role among key policy communities worldwide. These additions to our board reflect our growth in 21st century issue areas and our commitment to private-public partnership,” EWI President and CEO John Edwin Mroz said.

The new board members are: Angela Chen, Anurag Jain, Kevin McGovern, Ronald P. O’Hanley, William A. Owens, and John Rogers.

EWI also thanks departing board members Thor Bjorgolfsson, Don Kendall, Jr., Mike Maples, Frank Neuman, and Hilton J. Smith for their service to the institute and its goals of international cooperation.

Get to know EWI’s new board members by reading their full biographies below.


Angela Chen (U.S./China)
Founder and Managing Director, Global Alliance Associates
Director, China Arts Foundation International

Angela Chen’s career spans three decades of global corporate finance and cross-cultural management. She is the Founder of Global Alliance Associates and is a Partner of Epoch Fund, a pioneer private equity fund with sizeable equity investments in Chinese companies. Previously, she was Vice President, Investments at Prudential Securities in New York where she established its International Private Banking Group and developed and managed the Group’s high net worth private client base. Ms. Chen was also Vice President at Merrill Lynch. She launched its China Futures Department and worked with Chinese government officials in establishing the first Securities and Exchange Commission in China.

Ms. Chen was the sole United States representative sent to China by the U.N. Development Program to set forth the first Securities Law and Stock Exchange Law in China. She is a dedicated philanthropist and a Founder of China Arts Foundation whose mission is to improve communication and understanding between the United States and China through cultural exchange programs. Ms. Chen is also a Board Member of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum where she advises on strategy funding and management. She is currently a member of the National Committee on United States – China Relations and an active member of the Asia Society.


Anurag Jain (India)
Chairman, Laurus Edutech Pvt. Ltd.

Anurag Jain has founded Viziniti Global, LLC, which is a social entrepreneurship incubator based in the United States and India. Its first incubated venture, Laurus Edutech, trains over 30,000 students in India  in vocational skills using over 35 locations and is scaling a for profit model to train over 250,000 students a year in Asia and Africa. Viziniti is also in the process of incubating models to provide a $1,500 house for the homeless and provide primary health care to rural India.

In addition to serving on the board of the EastWest Institute, Jain serves on the board of the North Texas Food Bank.

Jain was the chairman of the Skill Development Forum for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He also served on the Board of the National Skills Development Corporation, a first-of-its-kind public–private partnership in India. He is also chairman of the board of Laurus Institute, a premier not-for-profit skills development think tank in India.

Jain left Dell in 2011, where he used to lead the Services Delivery unit, a global team of more than 18,000 professionals who deliver leading-edge technology solutions to Dell customers around the world. The Services Delivery unit includes Dell’s technology service functions of Infrastructure and Managed Technology Services, Applications, and Business Process Solutions. The organization also included Dell’s Innovation group, which was pioneering technological advancements in areas such as cloud computing, mobility, virtual data services, technology delivery and optimization, and others.

Jain previously led the Perot Systems (now Dell) Applications, Business Process Solutions, Financial Services and Insurance organizations, where he directed global operations and sales to enhance growth and business results. He also served as managing director of the company’s Asia Pacific region.

Jain also previously founded 3 highly successful, large-scale, India-based IT services outsourcing businesses. He co-founded and served as head of operations for Brigade Corporation, a customer support company with employees across centers in the United States, Europe, and India. He then founded Vision Healthsource, a business focused on providing IT services outsourcing to health care providers and payers that was acquired by Perot Systems in 2003. He also co-founded a successful finance and accounting outsourcing business, IQ Backoffice, which was bought by LiveIT based in the Philippines, earlier this year.

In addition, he serves on the board of Asia (Chennai) Engineering, a leading commercial, industrial civil engineering firm in India for more than 40 years.

Jain holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India.


Kevin McGovern (U.S.)
Chairman, The Water Initiative

Kevin M. McGovern is the Chairman and CEO of McGovern Capital, LLC, which provides investments and business strategy to emerging companies, particularly those engaged in consumer technologies and holders of Intellectual Property Rights. He has founded over a dozen companies, seven of which have become world and/or category leaders, including SoBe Beverages, Tristrata (AHA skincare technology), and KX Industries (home-based water purification).

McGovern founded and serves as Chairman and CEO of The Water Initiative (TWI), which develops and markets home-based water purification systems, particularly in developing countries. TWI has worked with the Mexican government and the people of Mexico as its first pilot project. In less than 2 ½ years, TWI has formulated technological solutions to Mexico’s most severe unclean water conditions and has launched product distribution through the government and through those people most impacted.

He has served as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board and Board Member of the USA Pavilion and as the only foreign Senior Advisor to the Development Committee of the 2010 Shanghai World’s Expo.

McGovern co-published the pioneering Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report, which is currently the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report.

He created and directs the worldwide licensing program for Tristrata Inc., which owns the rights (over 100 patents) to Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), a successful skin restoration and wrinkle reduction technology. Tristrata licenses over 70 companies and is the leading seller of skincare products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons in over 80 countries.

McGovern is a principal and strategist for Clean Coal Technologies, Inc., which has created proprietary technologies to clean coal; for EnviroFuels Manufacturing, Inc., which markets and distributes proprietary smokeless stoves; and for Aquea Scientific, which developed and markets proprietary nanotechnology to “wash-on” additives to the skin, such as sunscreens.

A graduate of Cornell University (B.A.) and St. John’s University School of Law (J.D.), he is a Presidential Councilor (highest honor to alumni) and Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University, having chaired its IP and Tech Transfer Committees. He also serves on Cornell’s Joint Venture (CNI) in Singapore, Chairs Entrepreneurship at Cornell, and was named Cornell’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2007. He teaches each spring at the Johnson Graduate Business School (Global Innovation and Commercialization) and recently donated and founded the McGovern Family Venture Development Center, Cornell’s first on campus science-business incubator.


Ronald P. O’Hanley, III (U.S.)
President, Asset Management and Corporate Services, Fidelity Investments

Mr. O’Hanley is a leading executive in the financial services and mutual fund industry. He spent more than 12 years with BNY Mellon, where he helped the Asset Management division more than double in size and assisted in the substantial growth of the company as a whole.

In 2010, Mr. O’Hanley moved to Fidelity Investments, and now serves in the number-two position to the firm’s CEO, Edward Johnson III, as President of Asset Management and Corporate Services.

Mr. O’Hanley is highly involved in philanthropy and serves on the boards of directors of many organizations in Boston.

Mr. O’Hanley has served previously as the President at Boston Company Asset Management, LLC. After leaving Boston Company Asset Management in 1987, Mr. O’Hanley worked at McKinsey & Company Inc., global management consulting firm, until 1997 where he served as a Partner and Leader of the firm’s worldwide Investment Management division, and co-Leader of its North American Personal Financial Services. During his 10 years with McKinsey, Mr. O'Hanley was based in Boston and Stockholm, focusing on financial services and heath care payers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

From 1997 to 2001, he served as a Senior Vice President at Mellon Bank, N.A. Prior to the merger of The Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corporation in July of 2007, Mr. O’Hanley was Vice Chairman of Mellon Financial Corporation and President and Chief Executive Officer of Mellon Asset Management. Following the merger, he became Vice Chairman of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and a member of the Executive Committee.

Ronald O’Hanley is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Syracuse University. He also attended Vanderbilt University School of Law.


Admiral William A. Owens (U.S.)
Chairman, AEA Holdings Asia
Former Vice Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Admiral William Owens is the managing director of AEA Investors in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining AEA, he was Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Nortel. Mr. Owens had served on the board of directors of Nortel and took the helm of Nortel following the disclosure of accounting issues in April 2004. Under his leadership, Nortel was reestablished as a strong, stable, ethical Fortune 500 company growing strongly and on the path to leadership in the telecommunications and enterprise IT global marketplace.

Prior to joining Nortel, Mr. Owens was chief executive officer and chairman of Teledesic LLC and before that, he was the president, chief operating officer and vice chairman of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the largest employee-owned high-technology company in the U.S. Prior to joining SAIC, Mr. Owens was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second-ranking military officer in the United States. He had responsibility for the reorganization and restructuring of the armed forces in the post-Cold War era.

From 1991 to 1993, Mr. Owens was the deputy chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments. He served as commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in 1990 and 1991 during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. Between 1988 and 1991, Mr. Owens served as senior military assistant to Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney, the senior military position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Mr. Owens has served on the board of directors of 19 public companies and has founded two technology companies, Lumera and Extend America. He is on the board of Daimler Chrysler AG, Polycom, Wipro, Embarq and AEA Investors LP. Mr. Owens is a member of several philanthropic boards including the Carnegie Foundation, Brookings Institution and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Owens has a B.A. and M.S. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University and an M.S. in management from George Washington University.


John Rogers (U.S.)
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.

John F.W. Rogers is the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board at Goldman Sachs. He has previously served at the White House for more than 10 years.

Mr. Rogers was Assistant to the President for Management and Administration from 1981 to 1985 and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1987.

From 1988 to 1991, he was Executive Vice President of the Oliver Carr Company.

From 1991 to 1993 he served as Under Secretary of State for Management at the U.S. Department of State.

In 1992 he helped to establish the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 and has been the Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Directors since November 2001.

As Executive Vice President, Mr. Rogers’ responsibilities include press and public relations, the firm’s government affairs office in Washington, and Goldman’s considerable philanthropic efforts.

Rogers is member of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Goldman Sachs Gives, the Baker Institute at Rice University, the American Museum of Natural History, the International Republican Institute, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, and the Smithsonian Institution.

John F.W. Rogers graduated from Georgetown University and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1985.

A Role for the Private Sector in Somalia?

'Somalia enfeebled by hunger, still exports food'

That headline above appeared in the New York Times in September 1981. Thirty years later, we are seeing the same problem.

According to IDN, livestock exports from Somalia continue unabated since the outbreak of famine in the country in April this year.  Somalia is actually a number of pocket economies, not as well connected to each other as some are to the outside world. The north (Somaliland) is less threatened by conflict and more prosperous than the south, where the majority of the hunger-stricken refugees find themselves.

In fact, Somaliland is a highly autonomous region that declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 and has its own rather small and lightly-armed military forces. So even if there were transport routes to get food from the north to the south and if the people there could afford to buy it, the Somaliland authorities may feel no special interest in helping them out.

Somaliland is treading a fine political line between an international community that refuses to recognize it and the radical forces in Somalia, especially Al Shabaab, that are continually trying to infiltrate, subvert and threaten the northern republic. Yet, as its Foreign Minister Mohamed Omar has observed this past week, “non-recognition has not prevented the steady improvement of relations with our neighbours and other international partners.”

Omar made a powerful point. He said that recognizing and stabilising Somaliland could be part of a process of bottom-up stabilisation of Somalia to which, he says, Somaliland acceded in 1960. He said that there could be no international plan for Somalia that would succeed.  That may be so, and his approach definitely seems worth considering, but one wonders what the total package of stabilization would like.

Omar did extend his sympathy to the suffering people of the rest of Somalia this week, but the Republic of Somaliland barely has the capacity to help itself let alone help in the rebuilding of the other Somalia. The political status of Somaliland will be an important reference point for the international community going forward as it rises to meet its obligation to return order and security to the failing state of Somalia. The incursion by Kenyan troops into southern Somalia this past week, in effect supporting the African Union forces already restoring order in Mogadishu, the capital, may buttress the security foundations needed for a return to order.

Yet the international community needs a bigger vision, both in moral or emotional terms and in political and economic terms. Somalia, with an area bigger than France or Spain, is a country of huge potential. It has the biggest coastline of any country in Africa. According to the European Commission, some estimates suggest fisheries production from Somali waters “should reach annually 200,000 tonnes, around 10 times the current yield”.  It also reports that offshore fishing by foreign and Somali interests “has all but ceased operations in the current climate”.

An emergency meeting of international organizations in August 2011, convened to address the food crisis in Somalia, called for a comprehensive set of responses to the root causes, including long term sustainability options. One of the many measures suggested was “identifying viable and acceptable alternatives to pastoral livelihoods”, while significantly strengthening the resilience of pastoralism.

But Somalia needs some political champions in the international community to fight for these ideas and to direct the new support needed. Someone has to fill what the FAO Director General, Jacques Diouf, called the “funding gaps”. New investment is needed, as Diouf observed, but we may need a more private sector orientation than his formula of “government endorsed investment plans”.  Can we, and should we, unleash the private sector, both local and international to be the international champions of a resurgent Somalia?

Read this piece in New Europe


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