Meinders School of Business  

International Energy Conference / Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Individual tickets are $150
Meinders School of Business students are invited to attend free of charge.

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U.S Department of State Deputy Director to speak at International Energy Conference

OKLAHOMA CITY – Matthew McManus with the U.S. Department of State, along with leading experts in the energy industry, will discuss the state and future of the global and domestic energy resource development at Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business’ International Energy Conference. The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the Cox Business Services Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, in Oklahoma City. 

“This conference will be a platform for discussion and dialogue, bringing thought leaders together to share ideas and an opportunity to hear from leaders in the development of international energy resources,” said Dr. Steven Agee, dean and professor of economics in the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University (OCU). “Oklahoma City, along with Oklahoma City University, is becoming an energy education center within the United States. The University finds itself surrounded by dynamic and growing energy companies, and with General Electric’s decision to build their new Global Energy Research Center here, we fully expect to see continued growth and momentum in the energy sector and energy education in Oklahoma City.”

McManus, deputy director of the Office of Public Diplomacy and Policy Analysis from the Bureau of Energy Resources with the U.S. Department of State, and Agee, who is also former president and COO of oil and gas exploration and production companies, will be joined by featured speakers:

• Vello Kuuskraa, president of Advanced Resources International
• Michael Farina, senior manager of strategy and analytics for GE Oil and Gas
• Francisco Xavier Salazar, chairman of the energy regulatory commission of Mexico
• Baille John Reynolds, deputy lord provost of Aberdeen and independent councillor for Bridge of Don, United Kingdom
• C. Michael Ming, general manager of GE’s Global Research Oil and Gas Technology Center
• John Richels, president and CEO of Devon Energy
• Wade Hutchings, regional vice president, Mid-Continent asset team, Marathon Oil Co.
• C. Renzi Stone, chairman and CEO, Saxum
• Jillian Ryan, founding partner, Geopolitical Advisory Partners
• David Smallman, managing partner of Pathfinder Team Consulting in the United Kingdom
• Castlen Kennedy, manager of investor relations, Apache Corporation.

Along with the various speakers throughout the day, two panel discussions will take place. An Operators panel discussing “New Cutting-Edge Technologies in the Oil & Gas Industry,” and a panel focusing on “Communications in the Energy Industry,” particularly internal and external communications in opening new areas of Mexico and the U.K. for shale resource development will highlight the panel discussions. 

An international focus will be present throughout the conference, with speakers from the United Kingdom and Mexico providing their perspectives and insight into the global energy mix. “With the opening of Mexico to international oil and natural gas exploration, production and development of infrastructure, the timing of this conference is perfect,” said Agee.  Earlier this year a group from the United Kingdom traveled to Oklahoma City to learn more about shale oil and natural gas development.  “We hosted this group for a morning session at Oklahoma City University to answer a multitude of questions they had about on-shore development of the U.K.’s shale resources.  This conference is an extension of those initial discussions,” stated Dr. Agee.

A sampling of our speaker bios:


Matthew T. McManus, Deputy Director, Office of Public Diplomacy and Policy Analysis, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State 

Matthew T. McManus serves in Washington in the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, as the Deputy Director for Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy. In his over 20 year State Department career, he has worked on a broad array of energy and economic issues. He served as member of the U.S. delegation which negotiated the NAFTA government procurement and energy chapters and participated on U.S. delegations to  energy related bilaterals with major energy producing countries.  He has been active in multilateral diplomacy serving on U.S. delegations to the International Energy Agency, the United Nations General Assembly, the Organization of American States General Assembly in Panama, and to the G20 Summit.  He is a manager of State Department training programs relating to energy issues in Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.  He holds a degree in Economics and Spanish from Holy Cross College, in Worcester, MA and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.     


JILLIAN D. RYAN, Founding Partner

As Founding Partner of Geopolitical Advisory Partners, Ms. Ryan provides geopolitical risk analysis and strategic advisory services to each of the firm’s clients, with a primary focus on opportunities throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to founding Geopolitical Advisory Partners, Ms. Ryan served as Vice President for Alpha Water, an innovative start-up providing a sustainable water source for oil and gas production in various shale plays. In this role, Ms. Ryan led Alpha’s government relations efforts and advanced Alpha’s relationships with state legislators, regulators and dozens of municipal government partners.

Previously, Ms. Ryan spent close to a decade in Washington, DC with The Scowcroft Group, advising the Group’s Fortune100 clients, focusing primarily on Africa and the natural resources, telecommunications and financial services sectors. During this time, she assisted clients in identifying and evaluating new market opportunities, as well as designing and implementing strategies for market entry, stakeholder engagement and host-country government relations.

Earlier, Ms. Ryan worked as a research analyst at the International Center for Terrorism Studies and in the International Exploration Group at ARCO International Oil & Gas Company. Ms. Ryan received a BS in Economics from Texas A&M University, and an MA in International Commerce and Public Policy from George Mason University. For more information about Geopolitical Advisory Partners, please visit


Steven C. Agee, Dean at the Meinders School of Business

Dr. Agee is an economist specializing in energy policy, banking, monetary policy, and macroeconomic theory.  Having served in the private sector for 30 years as President and COO of oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, Dr. Agee has the unique combination of academic and private industry experience to administer, teach, design and implement new programs and speaker’s series in the energy field.  In addition, having served six years (2006-2011) on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Oklahoma City Branch, the last three as its Chairman, Dr. Agee has enormous contacts and resources in the banking industry, and has taught Money & Banking at Oklahoma City University.


Mr. Vello A. Kuuskraa, President of Advanced Resources International, Inc.,

Mr. Kuuskraa has over 40 years of experience with enhanced oil recovery and unconventional gas. He has worked with numerous firms and countries examining how to coordinate the productive use and storage of CO2 with enhanced oil recovery.

He serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Carbon Capture Project, a major industry/government partnership involving BP, Chevron, ENI, Petrobras, and Shell working on advanced CO2 capture and storage technologies. Mr. Kuuskraa was the 2007/2008 SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the topic of Integrating Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Sequestration following his original lecturer season of 1986/87.

Mr. Kuuskraa is a 2001 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor that recognizes individuals for exceptional professional contributions by America's diverse cultural ancestry. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Southwestern Energy Company (SWN), on the Board of Directors for Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) and on the National Petroleum Council. Mr. Kuuskraa holds a M.B.A., Highest Distinction from The Wharton Graduate School and a B.S., Applied Mathematics/ Economics; from North Carolina State University.


C. Michael Ming, General Manager of General Electric’s Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City.  

Mr. Ming formerly served as the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy under Governor Mary Fallin, the President of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, RPSEA, and as an independent natural gas producer as a Managing Member and principal of K. Stewart Energy Group and K. Stewart Petroleum Corp.  He holds a BS degree with distinction in Petroleum Engineering and an MS degree in Engineering Management, both from Stanford University, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Oklahoma. At Stanford Mr. Ming is an emeritus member and past Chairman of the Petroleum Investments Committee, currently serves on the Earth Science Advisory Board, and co-sponsored the MAP/Ming Visiting Professorship on Energy and the Environment.  He also currently serves on advisory boards at the University of Texas BEG and Tulsa University.  He formerly served on the MIT Future of Natural Gas Study, the Oklahoma Clean Energy Independence Commission, as an adjunct professor in Energy Management at the University of Oklahoma, and as an oil & gas strategic planning advisor to the Department of Energy.


John Richels, president and CEO of Devon Energy

Mr. Richels was elected president and chief executive officer of Devon Energy in June 2010 and joined the Board of Directors in 2007. Prior to joining Devon in 1998, John served as chief financial officer of Northstar Energy Corporation. John is a graduate of York University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics. He also holds a law degree from the University of Windsor. John serves as chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, past president of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, a member of the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma City University and the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and a director of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.