Dr Kirsten Westphal works at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin. The SWP has been analysing foreign policy issues for over 50 years.
Dr Westphal oversees International Energy Relations and Global Energy Security at the institute. She heads the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation – Hydrogen project (2021–2023), which is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. She was a Member of the Expert Panel to the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation in 2018–2019 and contributed to the Commission’s ‘A New World’ report, published in 2019. At the same time, she also led the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation 2030 project (GET 2030) (2018–2020), which was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
In the past, she worked as a research assistant at Justus Liebig University in Giessen and at the Instituto de Relaciones Europeo-Latinoamericanas (IRELA) in Madrid. Prior to that, she was an employee at PreussenElektra AG. She studied political science, communication science and history.
She has numerous publications on international energy relations and external energy relations of Germany and the EU. Her books include Global Energy Governance in a Multipolar World (Aldershot/Burlington Ashgate 2010) and The Political and Economic Challenges of Energy in the Middle East and North Africa (Routledge, 2018). Her recent publications on the geopolitical effects of the energy transformation and on energy security in the era of decarbonisation have appeared in Nature, Global Policy, Energy Strategy Review, European Energy & Climate Journal, Energy Research and Social Sciences and at the SWP. Her opinion pieces and editorials appear, among others, in newspapers the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wall Street Journal and Neue Zürcher Zeitung.