Susan Maples is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor and Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar. Susan's research interests and teaching areas are in comparative constitutional analysis of the governance of natural resources; comparative analysis of oil, gas, and mining laws; energy diplomacy; international petroleum transactions and regulatory frameworks; oil & gas transport; upstream economics; state participation and equity, and resource and energy policy. She has worked in over 25 countries, providing trainings, lectures, and legal and policy support to parliaments, governments, and citizens in resource rich countries and continues to be consulted for advice, research, and lectures by private industry, governments, and civil society.
Prior to joining the University of Houston, Susan was a Natural Resource Governance Fellow in the Office of the Legal Adviser to the President of Liberia, H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Her portfolio in this position primarily consists of issues related to the foreign investment, but extended to any issue for which the President needed legal advice, including questions of the extent of executive power, interpretation of treaties with other nations, and Constitutional questions. Analysis of law, policy, and economics in natural resource investments and reforms of the legal framework governing these sectors were her primary responsibilities, as were the negotiations and renegotiations of investment contracts. The latter included the farm-in and renegotiation of a Production Sharing Contract for an offshore oil block to a major IOC.
Susan was also Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Columbia Law School from 2007-2011, first at the Human Rights Institute under Professor Peter Rosenblum and then at the Vale Columbia Center for Sustainable International Investment under Professor Jeffrey Sachs. She was a co-author of Oil Contracts: How to read and understand them, the co-author of Contracts Confidential: Ending Secret Deals in the Extractive Industries, and a contributor to the forthcoming study, Resource-Based Sustainable Development in the Lower Zambezi Basin.
Susan received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2007 as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and received the Parker School Foreign and Comparative Law Achievement Award. She was the Executive Editor of the Human Rights Law Review. Prior to receiving her J. D., Susan graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Georgia in 2003, earning a B.A. in Philosophy, a Minor in English and a Certificate in Global Studies.
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