Executive Director, Columbia Center for Global Energy Policy
Robert ("RJ") Johnston is Executive Director at the Columbia Center for Global Energy Policy, a role he began in July 2022 following a year of service as an Adjunct Research Scholar. From 2006 to 2021, RJ was the founder and Managing Director for Eurasia Group’s Energy, Climate, and Resources practice, where he worked closely with corporate and institutional investor clients in the oil and gas, mining, electric power, and cleantech sectors. RJ also served as the firm's CEO from 2013 to 2018 and continues to support the firm as a Special Advisor. RJ is also a strategic advisor to start-ups in solar manufacturing and climate-focused fintech, as well as to a leading energy-focused private equity firm.
Prior to joining Eurasia Group, RJ served as managing director of equity research at Medley Global Advisors, where he was responsible for providing political and strategic insights to clients in the institutional investment community and served as the lead analyst for global energy equities. RJ, in addition, was a research director at UBS Warburg Energy, working directly in support of energy trading. And he previously directed internal research teams supporting oil, LNG, metals, and FX trading at Enron Global Markets. Earlier, at ArmorGroup, RJ directed political risk research for corporate clients in a variety of markets including China, Russia, Colombia, and Indonesia.
Recent notable achievements include published contributions to the World Energy Council, Harvard University Belfer Center, the National Petroleum Council, the International Gas Union, and the Canadian Energy Research Institute. He participates regularly in industry policy development initiatives including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Oil Sands Dialogue, the Brookings Institution Task Forces on US Crude Oil and LNG Exports, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum Abu Dhabi, and PwC Energy Visions, among others. RJ is a member of the Trilateral Commission and was a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center from 2017 to 2021.
RJ holds a doctorate in international relations from American University, a master's degree in political science from McMaster University, and a bachelor's degree in political studies from Bishop's University.