Azerbaijan votes in a presidential election on October 9, and there is little doubt as to who the winner will be. Attention now focuses on what the next five years hold for Azerbaijan under the third term of President Ilham Aliev.

As the regional picture changes, Azerbaijan’s energy profile is shifting from being an oil to a gas exporter and the population is assessing the impact of the energy boom over the last decade. Edward Chow, Thomas de Waal, and Brenda Shaffer discussed these issues and the future of Azerbaijan. Carnegie’s James F. Collins moderated.

Ambassador James F. Collins

Ambassador James F. Collins was appointed director of the Russia and Eurasia Program in January 2007. He is an expert on the former Soviet Union, its successor states, and the Middle East. Ambassador Collins was the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001.

Edward Chow

Edward Chow is a senior fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is an energy expert with more than thirty years of oil industry experience, working in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

Thomas de Waal

Thomas de Waal is a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing primarily in the South Caucasus region comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia and their breakaway territories, as well as the wider Black Sea region. He is the author of The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Brenda Shaffer

Brenda Shaffer is a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. She is a faculty member in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa and has previously served as research director of the Caspian Studies Program at Harvard University. Shaffer is a specialist on energy and foreign policy, the Caucasus, ethnic politics in Iran, Caspian energy, and Eastern Mediterranean energy issues.