Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations

Saudi Arabia's Bold Attack on Oil Competitors: Motives and Sustainability

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2015
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI

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Rachel Bronson, Executive Director The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Dr. Rachel Bronson will discuss the closely related topics of transition in the Saudi Arabian monarchy with the ascent of a new king, and the Saudi’s action to make unlimited sales in the world oil market which has precipitated a 50% drop in prices.  Her expertise on both subjects should provide authoritative insights.  She believes the Saudi kingdom has great financial resources to compensate for their loss of income, and stability within the ruling elite to sustain a policy that may cause popular unrest and draws protests of some of its fellow nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  The Saudi move has sharply reduced U.S. gas prices creating joy among U.S. consumers, anguish among the oil companies, and volatility in the stock market.  Her remarks should give us insight as what may lay ahead in these areas.

Rachel Bronson recently was appointed Executive Director and Publisher of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine.   Previously, she was Senior Fellow for Energy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she directed the Council’s activities on the changing US energy landscape and its implications for US foreign policy, national security, and economic competitiveness.  For seven years before she was Council’s vice president for studies and programs where she recruited strategic thinkers, and built the Council into a top global think tank. 

Prior to her coming to Chicago, Bronson served as senior fellow and director of Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and several top policy and academic institutions.  Dr. Bronson's book, Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press, 2006), presented her interpretation of the dynamics of the kingdom and its role in world oil market.  Her writings have appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, and Washington Post, and she frequently comments on foreign affairs on  the national news media.  She earned a BA in history at the University of Pennsylvania and a MA and PhD in political science from Columbia University in 1997.

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