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Symposium Reviews The Gulf Cooperation Council as it Turns 31 – Part 3 – Energy
Published: May 30, 2012
Today we present part three from the “Gulf Cooperation Council at 31: Implications of Trends and Indications for GCC and US Interests,” a symposium presented last week in Washington, DC, by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. In her panel presentation Ms. Randa Fahmy Hudome, former Associate Deputy Secretary in the Department of Energy and currently President of Fahmy Hudome International, discussed cooperative approaches to energy policy among the GCC member states. Additional reports from the symposium are at the links below with the remainder of the presentations appearing separately over the course of this week.
The Gulf Cooperation Council at 31: Implications of Trends and Indications for GCC and US Interests (Part 3 – Randa Fahmy Hudome)
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
May 24, 2012
[Ms. Randa Fahmy Hudome] Thank you. Today I’d like to examine whether or not the GCC has a comprehensive energy policy, not just in the traditional sense of the word for traditional sources of energy. I’d really like to focus on something that is not highlighted regularly which is a renewable energy policy, that is certainly picking up in the GCC countries.
So with respect to cooperative policy on energy sources, of course four out of the six members of the GCC — Saudi Arabia Kuwait Qatar and the UAE — are members of OPEC. Collectively as Odeh [Dr. Aburdene] mentioned, they are responsible for almost half of the world’s oil reserves. Of course we’ve heard the latest news on cooperative efforts on gas production, a “Gas PEC” if you will, of which some of the members of the GCC are extraordinarily active in.
Of course there’s even cooperation between the GCC countries, the producer countries, and the consuming countries based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The international Energy Forum highlights and encourages cooperation between producer and consumer countries. So I would say in the traditional sense of the word, there is a sort of comprehensive energy policy. But is there such a policy when looking at renewable energies?
Now individually I can go through all six countries and give you examples, and I certainly will, of the strides that are being made within the renewable energy sectors in each one of these GCC countries. In fact, I was speaking to an official from one of the state-owned oil companies the other day and he indeed confirmed that this particular country within the GCC is aggressively pursuing renewable energy not only a policy but renewable energy programs, knowing of course that there is an end to the traditional sources, but also is a matter of diversifying their economy and certainly creating jobs.
Ms. Randy Fahmy Hudome is the President of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), a strategic consulting firm which provides critical advice and counsel to Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, media organizations, and private sector entities with business interests in the Middle East and North Africa. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on US-Arab Relations.
Prior to founding FHI, Ms. Fahmy Hudome was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy. Working with the White House and the Department of State and Commerce, she developed and implemented the Bush Administration’s international energy policy. Ms. Fahmy Hudome was also the point person at the Department of Energy for increased advocacy on behalf of American energy companies seeking business around the globe. From 1995-2001, Ms. Fahmy Hudome served as Counselor to United States Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI). During the six years she spent in the legislative branch, she was credited with shaping many pieces of legislation that affected U.S. interests abroad, including financial assistance to U.S. allies in the Middle East.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Fahmy Hudome was a practicing attorney with the law firm of Wilkie, Farr and Gallagher, where she specialized in the areas of international trade and corporate litigation. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she held the post of Administrative Editor of The Georgetown Journal of International Law.
Ms. Fahmy Hudome’s expertise in international economic policy and energy has been sought by the U.S. Secretary of State, who appointed her to serve on the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, and by the Secretary of Energy, who appointed her to serve on the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Ms. Fahmy Hudome’s opinions on international diplomacy have been published in the Wall Street Journal, and she appears frequently as an expert analyst on NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Al-Jazeera.