Brenda is a Senior Advisor for Energy at FDD. A foreign policy and international energy specialist, she focuses on global energy trends and policies, politics and energy in the South Caucasus and greater Caspian and Black Sea regions, Iranian natural gas exports, ethnic politics in Iran, and Eastern Mediterranean energy. Prof. Shaffer is a research faculty member at the U.S. Naval Post-Graduate School. Brenda is currently researching and writing a book on ethnic politics in Iran.
Brenda is the author of several books: Energy Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity (MIT Press, 2002) and Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001). Energy Politics is used as a text book in over 200 university courses around the globe. She has also served as the editor for Beyond the Resource Curse (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) and Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy (MIT Press, 2006).
Brenda has held a variety of academic appointments, including tenured professor at the University of Haifa, and visiting professor at Bifrost University in Iceland, and at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. She previously served as the Research Director for the Caspian Studies Program at Harvard University.
Brenda frequently provides research and expert counsel to international institutions, governments, energy companies, and regional security organizations. She has given testimony to several committees of the US Congress, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and to the European Parliament. She frequently appears on Bloomberg TV and in major news outlets worldwide to provide insight on developments in the global oil market.