Dr. Laura Le Cornu is a senior research consultant on hydrocarbon issues at the PRIO Cyprus Centre in Nicosia. Previously, she was a programme manager with the Management Centre, a Nicosia-based NGO, for internationally funded development projects in Cyprus.
Le Cornu began her career as a journalist in Turkey and the former USSR countries covering political, business and energy issues. She also covered the first Gulf War from the Kurdish region of Turkey and Northern Iraq. Le Cornu spent 15 years on the ground in Azerbaijan and Turkey, working on energy publications and advising blue-chip companies such as Statoil and Google on emerging political risks. Later she worked as a government affairs analyst for ExxonMobil's Upstream division, advising on geopolitical risk and government relations in the Caspian and Turkey. Le Cornu's Ph.D. from Oxford University focuses on energy and political issues in Azerbaijan and the Caspian region. Her thesis examines Azerbaijan's policies on pipeline projects, oil and gas negotiations and the Caspian demarcation issue as well as the role of external powers and international organizations on these issues. Her current research work concerns the strategic, political and economic implications of hydrocarbon development in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region. She recently co-authored, Turkey and Eastern Mediterranean Hydrocarbons (GPOT Center, 2013), and is involved in developing projects concerned with facilitating dialogue and research on hydrocarbon issues in Cyprus.