Our veteran team of former senior officials and analysts has extensive, top-level experience spanning financial markets, energy policy and regulation, and foreign affairs and intelligence.
Robert McNally is the founder and President of The Rapidan Group. Mr. McNally has over 25 years government and market experience as an international energy market consultant, investment strategist and White House policy official. Mr. McNally’s background and expertise spans the convergence of energy with economic, security, and environmental sectors, from global oil market fundamentals to regulatory policies. He has testified to Congress on energy markets and national security, published on energy in Foreign Affairs (co-authored with Michael Levi) and has been interviewed by CNN, The Economist, NPR, Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times, PBS’ Great Decisions in Foreign Policy series, Bloomberg News and other leading journals and programs. Mr. McNally is a Member of the National Petroleum Council and is a non-resident fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. McNally served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff, holding the posts of Special Assistant to the President on the National Economic Council and, in 2003, Senior Director for International Energy on the National Security Council. Mr. McNally started his professional career as an oil market analyst and consultant with Energy Security Analysis, Inc. In 1994, he joined Tudor Investment Corporation and for 12 years analyzed energy markets, macroeconomic policy, and geopolitics for Tudor portfolio managers. Mr. McNally served in the Peace Corps in Senegal from 1988-1990. He earned his double major BA/BS in International Relations and Political Science from American University and his MA in International Economics and American Foreign Policy from Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
He is the author of the book Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices (Columbia University Press, 2017).
Scott Modell is the Managing Director of The Rapidan Group. Scott is an uncommonly talented and seasoned expert on Iran and the broader Middle East and offers unparalleled insight into geopolitical and energy related developments and trends in that region, as well as Latin America and Europe. He is a highly decorated former Central Intelligence Agency officer who served for 13 years in the Directorate of Operations, with five tours conducting operations in Latin America, Western Europe, and the Middle East. He also participated in post 9-11 operations in Afghanistan, serving on the battlefields in the southern and southeastern regions of the country as a member of paramilitary counterterrorism teams composed of CIA officers and local Afghan forces. In addition to his Rapidan Group responsibilities, Scott is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies focusing on security issues related to Iran and the Middle East and a senior advisor to U.S. Special Operations Command on Counter Threat Finance operations. Scott is fluent in Spanish, Farsi, and Portuguese, and received his M.A. from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.
Eric Otto is a Managing Director and Head of Research at The Rapidan Group and is based in New York. Previously, Eric was a Research Analyst for CLSA in New York where he covered upstream energy companies and generated investment recommendations for asset managers and hedge funds. Prior to CLSA, he worked for Hunt Oil Company and affiliates where he was a Director and focused on M&A and corporate development activities in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Earlier, Eric worked in Iraq as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of International Affairs where he focused on the oil sector and in the West Wing of the White House as Special Assistant to the Director of the National Economic Council. He began his career in investment banking and focused on project finance. Eric received a BA from Davidson College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Fareed Mohamedi joined The Rapidan Group in August 2016 as Chief Economist. Mr. Mohamedi’s career has spanned several decades with experience working in national oil companies, consultancies, research institutes, a rating agency and a government ministry. He is an expert on oil and gas markets, the geopolitics of energy, investment environment and macroeconomic risks in the oil and gas producing countries and the strategies of national oil companies.
Mr. Mohamedi comes to The Rapidan Group after working for two and a half years at Saudi Aramco in their Corporate Planning Department. He managed a unit of Saudi and international analysts who catered to the internal and external analytical and information needs of the Saudi government, Saudi Aramco’s Chairman and its CEO.
Prior to joining Saudi Aramco, Mr. Mohamedi worked with Statoil in London in its Global Strategy and Business Development department. Between 1990 and 2011, he was a partner with Washington-based PFC Energy and ran their oil market and country risk practice. He has also worked as a macroeconomist with the Institute of International Finance, Moody’s Investors Service, Wharton Econometrics and the Ministry of Finance and National Economy of Bahrain.
Neil Quilliam is Director, Strategic Advisory Service & Head, Europe Practice at The Rapidan Group and is based in London. Dr. Quilliam served as Senior Energy Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London for the past 4 years. In this capacity, Neil advised the FCO and other Whitehall ministries, including the Cabinet Office, Department of Energy & Climate Change, Ministry of Defence, Her Majesty’s Treasury, and UK Trade & Industry. Prior to working with the UK government, Dr. Quilliam led Control Risks’ Middle East and North Africa practice and advised governments, and multinationals, including IOCs, on political risk. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East throughout his career, having taught at the United Nations University in Amman, Jordan; Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, Amman; King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools in Bethlehem. Dr. Quilliam holds a PhD in International Relations from Durham University (UK) and wrote his thesis on ‘Syria and the New World Order.’ He has published several books on Syria and contributed many chapters in edited volumes on Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Gulf Co-operation Council. He also serves as Acting Head of Middle East & North Africa Programme at Chatham House.
Leslie Palti-Guzman is the Director of Global Gas at The Rapidan Group and leads the firm’s coverage on global natural gas markets, liquefied natural gas (LNG), cross-border pipeline politics, and unconventional gas. Leslie is also a non-resident fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University. She has nearly ten years’ experience as a global gas market research analyst, energy market journalist, and political risk advisor. Leslie’s expertise is global, with a strong regional focus on Asia, North America, the European Union, Eastern Mediterranean, Russia, and Qatar. She has established a strong professional reputation and is regularly asked to appear as a featured speaker at gas conferences. Leslie frequently appears on television and in leading print media as an expert commentator on global gas politics.
Prior to joining The Rapidan Group, Leslie was a senior analyst at Eurasia Group in the Global Energy & Natural Resources team. Leslie has also served as the senior natural gas and LNG correspondent at Energy Intelligence Group in New York.
Leslie holds an MA in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she studied international law and business and wrote her master’s thesis on the geopolitics of energy. Leslie also holds both an MA and BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, with a focus on European Studies and Security Studies. Leslie has lived in Paris, Madrid, Boston, Washington, DC, and New York. She is fluent in French and Spanish.
Campbell Palfrey is a Vice President at The Rapidan Group. Mr. Palfrey is based in the Washington office, where he monitors and analyzes supply/demand fundamentals, geopolitical risks, and policy developments that impact the global oil market. Prior to joining The Rapidan Group in 2009, Mr. Palfrey was the Project Director for an international market research firm, where his team focused on identifying and analyzing consumer trends in the technology and telecommunication sectors. Mr. Palfrey earned his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Haverford College and his M.A. in International Economics and Energy, Resources & Environment at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Glenn Schwartz joined the Rapidan Group in August 2016 as Director of Environmental Policy Research & Analysis. Glenn is a Clean Air Act attorney and will oversee the firm’s research and client advisory in the area of environmental regulation and policy development surrounding alternative energy. Prior to joining Rapidan, Glenn spent nearly 6 years at PIRA Energy Group where he served as its chief legal, political, and regulatory risk analyst in the emissions and clean energy group. Eventually serving as the group’s Director of Legal Analysis, he was tasked with tracking and interpreting major regulations and legislation on the state and federal (and in some cases, international) level impacting emissions and energy markets. In addition, Glenn served as the firm’s fracking policy expert, tracking litigation, regulation, studies, and legislation on the federal, state, and local level and analyzing impacts and trends affecting volumes or costs. Previously, as a practicing attorney, Glenn advised clients and stakeholders on a wide variety of environmental and regulatory issues involving the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and relevant state statutes. Glenn holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Sabine Leffler is Executive Assistant and Office Manager. Ms. Leffler received her B.A. in Linguistics from the Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France in 1990 and her Masters in economic translation from the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germersheim, Germany. From January 1995 to February 1997, Sabine worked as a Program Coordinator for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Washington, DC. In that capacity she organized visitor programs for German officials with American think tanks and non-profit organizations. From July 1997 to September 2007, Ms. Leffler worked as Office Manager for Tudor Investment Corporation in Washington, DC. From September 2007 to May 2012 Ms. Leffler has been the Admissions Coordinator at Silver Spring Day School, Silver Spring, Maryland. Ms. Leffler is fluent in German (native language) as well as in English and French.
Iwona Biernat is a Senior Advisor at The Rapidan Group. Previously, Iwona was a Research Analyst for Morgan Stanley in London where she covered upstream and integrated energy companies generating investment ideas for world’s biggest asset managers and hedge funds. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Iwona worked at ING and Crédit Agricole CIB, where she advised on multi-billion dollar projects and acquisitions in emerging and developed markets. Iwona started her career at Cube Infrastructure Fund in Paris. She graduated with a dual master’s degree from Sciences Po Paris and HEC School of Management. Bilingual in Polish and French, Iwona speaks fluent English and Spanish. She also speaks basic Turkish.
Kevin McNally joined The Rapidan Group in 2014 as Director of Business Development. Before joining The Rapidan Group, Mr. McNally spent eight years with Fidelity National Financial, the world’s leading provider of title insurance, technology and real estate transaction services, focusing on business development and creating and adding long term value for commercial and residential clients. Prior to that, Mr. McNally worked for six years at Stewart Title Guaranty, a Houston, Texas based national provider of real estate services. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut. He earned his BA in Criminal Justice from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. Mr. McNally resides in Connecticut and is a licensed attorney.
Allyson Cutright joined The Rapidan Group in November 2014 as an Energy Market Analyst. Ms. Cutright researches, collects and analyzes global oil market data and related energy and economic information. She also contributes to the firm’s energy policy, petroleum market, and geopolitical reports. Prior to joining The Rapidan Group, Ms. Cutright served as a government affairs liaison for a non-profit healthcare policy organization. Ms. Cutright began her career in 2011 serving as an intern in the office of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) where she assisted a Legislative Aide in banking and tax policy. Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Ms. Cutright earned her B.A. in Classics (Greek and Latin Linguistics, History, and Philosophy) from the University of Kentucky and completed post-baccalaureate coursework in Mathematics at the University of Kentucky.
Fernando Ferreira joined The Rapidan Group in February 2015 as an Energy Policy Analyst. Mr. Ferreira contributes to the firm’s energy policy, petroleum market, and geopolitical research and analysis. Prior to joining The Rapidan Group, Mr. Ferreira was as a Research Intern in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies where he focused on oil markets and geopolitics. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he earned his MA in International Commerce & Policy and his BS in Economics from George Mason University.
Mariah Deters joined The Rapidan Group in April 2016 as an Energy Analyst, focusing on market dynamics and policy affecting the downstream oil sector. Ms. Deters provides analysis and research on global refining developments and domestic and international petroleum product markets. Before joining The Rapidan Group, Ms. Deters worked in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she focused on Chinese energy sector reforms and the evolving role of water in the energy industry. Ms. Deters graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, earned a minor in Statistics from the Wharton School, and studied Mandarin at Peking University in Beijing, China.
Leo Luo joined The Rapidan Group in January 2017 as a Research Assistant, focusing on the market and policy dynamics of the downstream oil sector. Prior to joining the Rapidan Group, Mr. Luo served two terms as a research intern in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, focusing on China and India’s clean energy initiatives. Mr. Luo is currently a student at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs with a minor in French, and has studied abroad at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.
Ana Rasmussen joined the Rapidan Group in February 2017 as a Global Gas Analyst, focusing on the research and analysis of international natural gas markets and assessing the impact of geopolitical events and technical developments. Prior to joining the Rapidan Group, Ms. Rasmussen worked at a small financial advisory in Tbilisi, Georgia for several months specializing in the Caspian oil and gas industry. Ms. Rasmussen earned her B.A. in International Studies from American University and her M.A. in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS with a specialization in Energy, Resources, and Environment and a Minor in European and Eurasian studies
Gregory Chumakov joined the Rapidan Group in July 2017 as an Oil Analyst. Mr. Chumakov researches, compiles, and analyzes data related to global oil fundamentals. He also contributes to the firm’s global oil service products. Prior to joining the Rapidan Group, Mr. Chumakov gained initial experience in the international commodity and trading sectors as an intern at the Vitol Group in Hamburg and Ameropa Asia Pte Ltd in Singapore. Mr. Chumakov earned his B.A. in Economics with minor in Business Administration from George Washington University. While at GWU, Mr. Chumakov cultivated his interest in business as the CEO of the GW Undergraduate Consulting Group (UCG) and a student leader at GWs Undergraduate Business Association.