CPC - Caspian Policy Center


7th Trans-Caspian Forum

7th Trans-Caspian Forum

The Caspian Policy Center (CPC) is proud to host this event to honor the partnership between the United States and the countries of the Caspian Region. In coordination with the embassies of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, this forum will bring together U.S. and Caspian region policymakers, business leaders, and members of the academic community to honor the accomplishments of U.S.-Caspian relationship, and to discuss upcoming opportunities and challenges. The importance of nurturing strategic relations between the United States and the countries of the Caspian Region have been increasingly re-affirmed through high-level visits to the region and initiatives such as the U.S. State Department’s Economic Resilience in Central Asia Initiative (ERICEN).


The National Press Club  

1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #1


Panel 1 – United States-Caspian Strategic Partnership  

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM 


In the last year, cooperation between the United States and countries of the Caspian Region have continued to grow. With the energy and security crises emerging from the Russia-Ukraine War, it has become clear just how important it is to nurture strategic engagement with the Caspian.

The changing global paradigm has demonstrated a need for the United States to reevaluate its relations with traditional security partners, leaving the political and security outlook of Caspian Region countries in question. The United States and the Caspian region will need to develop and employ decisive and cooperative solutions to protect their national interests and collaborate with a diverse set of international partners.

9:00 am – 9:05 am           Opening Remarks 


  • Efgan Nifti, Chief Executive Officer, Caspian Policy Center


9:05 am – 9:45 am          Keynote Remarks 


  • Nicholas Berliner, Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia, National Security Council
  • Laura Lochman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State
  • Brian Stimmler, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, U.S. Department of State


9:45 am – 11:00 am          Ambassadorial Addresses 


     Moderator: Ambassador (Ret.) Richard Hoagland, Board Member, Caspian Policy Center. 


- Ambassador Lilit Makunts, Armenia

- Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim, Azerbaijan

- Ambassador David Zalkaliani, Georgia

- Ambassador Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Kazakhstan

- Ambassador Bakyt Amanbaev, Kyrgyzstan

- Ambassador Farrukh Hamralizoda, Tajikistan 

- Ambassador Murat Mercan, Türkiye 

- Ambassador Meret Orazov, Turkmenistan 

- Ambassador Furqat Sidiqov, Uzbekistan


11:00 am – 11:15 am          Coffee Break



Panel 2 – Middle Corridor: Caspian and Black Sea Connectivity 


11:15 AM - 12:30 PM 


The Middle Corridor references an initiative that seeks to ultimately connect Europe to Asia by bridging Türkiye to Central Asia. The Middle Corridor provides a connective network from Central Asia, through the Caspian Sea, the South Caucasus, Türkiye, and, ultimately, to Europe, and global markets. This ambitious endeavor has taken many years to develop and synchronize considering the political, economic, and logistical hurdles necessary to overcome before this ideal is realized.  


11:15 am – 12:30 pm         Panel Discussion 


Moderator:  Dr. Marsha McGraw-Olive, Board Member, Caspian Policy Center. 


  • Michael Schiffer, Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, USAID
  • Dr. Dagmara Koska, Deputy Head of Global Issues and Innovation Section, European Union (EU)
  • Dr. Nathan Hutson, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the University of North Texas, Consultant for the World Bank
  • Eugene Seah, Chief Operating Officer, Port of Baku


12:30 pm – 01:30 pm         Lunch



Panel 3 – Caspian Energy 

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM 


The traditional energy industries of oil and gas have flourished in the Caspian Region, and with the global energy crisis at hand, the energy potential of the region has emerged at the forefront of geopolitical discussions. Furthermore, the Caspian Region has tremendous wind, solar, petrol, and hydropower potential that should be harnessed to meet regional, and global, energy needs. The countries of the Caspian possess large amounts of untapped renewable energy resources that would sufficiently meet growing global energy demands.  


1:30 pm – 2:30 pm          Panel Discussion 


 Moderator: Efgan Nifti, CEO, Caspian Policy Center  


  • Robert Scher, Head of International Affairs, BP America
  • Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center
  • Jubo Turashvili, Head of Department, Energy Policy and Investment Projects Department at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia



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