Urban Rusnak

Honorary Fellow

CEPMLP, Energy Environment and Society

Portrait of Urban Rusnak, wearing a suit and blue tie, against a white backdrop.
On this page





+44 (0)1382 384300


Amb. Dr Urban Rusnák (1967) is Slovak; he is married and has three children.

Dr Urban Rusnák is currently working as Coordinator in the Section of Minister at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. In parallel he is advising the Brussels Diplomatic Academy at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium on Energy Transition Diplomacy. He is Honorary Research Fellow at University of Dundee (UK).

In 2012-2021 he was leading the (International Energy Charter as the Secretary-General during two five[1]year mandates. Dr Rusnák was focusing his efforts on modernizing and expanding the International Energy Charter. During his period, five countries became Contracting Parties to the ECT (Afghanistan, Montenegro, Iceland, Jordan and Yemen). Three more have been invited to accede to ECT (Mauretania, Burundi and Eswatini). Furthermore, 28 new countries and regional organizations became Observers of the Energy Charter Conference by signing the International Energy Charter. Unfortunately, during his mandate Italy withdraw from the treaty. In 2012, upon his proposal, the Energy Charter Conference significantly increased transparency by de-restricting its decisions the following year. To improve democratic governance and better geographical balance, he suggested to introduce rotating Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference. His proposal was accepted and new model of governance was introduced in 2013. In parallel to addressing potential disruption of gas flow to the European Union due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Dr Rusnák led the work on Energy Charter Early Warning Mechanism (adopted in 2014). In March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, he made a public statement supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The first phase of the Modernization culminated by signing The International Energy Charter declaration in May 2015 in the Hague. Under his leadership, the Secretariat in 2018 developed the Energy Investment Risks Assessment (#EIRA), its annual flagship publication. Since 2019 Contracting Parties are negotiating the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty. In 2020 Secretary[1]General Dr Rusnák lead the adaptation of the Energy Charter Process to the pandemic situation while maintaining its full operationality.

Before his appointment at the Energy Charter Secretariat, Dr Rusnák worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic in 2009-2011 as the Leader of the Project for Slovakia's External Energy Security. In previous periods he served as the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Ukraine (2005-2009), the Head of the Political Analysis Division (2003-2005), the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Turkey (1994-1998) and the Desk Officer for Central Asia and Caucasus (1993-1994). Dr Rusnák started his diplomatic career at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic in 1992. On top of his diplomatic experience abroad, Dr Rusnák served in Bratislava as the Director of the Slovak Institute for International Studies (an official foreign policy think-tank) and Editor-In-Chief of the International Issues quarterly journal (1999- 2000). As the first Executive Director he successfully founded the International Visegrád Fund (IGO) in Bratislava in 2000-2003. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas in 1990 (MSc) and received his PhD at the Ankara University Institute of Social Sciences in 1998. Dr Rusnák also holds an Honoris Causa doctorate from the Kyiv Slavonic University (2009). Dr Rusnák has academic and teaching experiences from different countries. In 2001-3, he developed and taught the International Relations and Development Assistance Master courses at the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics, Bratislava. Slovakia. In 2007-9, he regularly lectured about Energy Security and European Integration at Kyiv Slavonic University, Ukraine. After his appointment to the Energy Charter Secretariat, he established the Secretariat's Knowledge Center. He continuously expanded the network of cooperating academic institutions and lecturing in places as diverse as the US, Turkmenistan, China, Colombia, the UK, Russia, Slovakia, Japan and Nigeria.”