What We Do

Horizon provides investors with a superior understanding of how politics impact their businesses in complex environments around the world.

Founded in 2003, we work with top management, regional and country managers, and business development groups as a trusted advisor to help make the most informed and well considered decisions.

Our clients reflect our global nature. About 40% are in the Americas, 30% are in Europe, 20% are in Asia Pacific and 10% in the Middle East and Africa.

Our Team

Joe Goldberg

Partner & Head of Business Development

Location: New York

Joe is one of two co-founders of Horizon. Since the firm’s inception, Joe has led the development of Horizon’s research products and client base, which includes supermajor, major and independent energy companies from the United States, Europe and Japan. Joe oversees a business development team based in New York that interacts with Horizon’s analysts worldwide to deliver actionable research on key power-brokers, energy-sector agencies, competitive landscape, and political and regulatory environments in target countries.

Before co-founding Horizon in 2003, Joe worked as head of business development at Eurasia Group in New York and as an analyst for Ernst & Young in Moscow. Joe received a master’s degree in finance from New York University.

Alexander Zaslavsky

Partner & Head of Research

Location: New York

Alexander (Sasha) is one of two co-founders of Horizon. He coordinates global research for Horizon’s clients. His research specialization is energy politics in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Before co-founding Horizon in 2003, Sasha worked as head of research at Eurasia Group in New York and in corporate finance at SBC Warburg in London.

Sasha received a bachelor's degree in philosophy, politics and economics and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University. He is an author of Power, Personalities and Political Risk: Inside Russia’s Oil and Gas Industry (London, Euromoney Books).

Michael Knights

Head of Research for MENA

Location: Boston

Michael joined Horizon in 2012 to lead the firm's research on Middle East and North Africa energy and security. From 2006 to 2012, Michael served as vice president for analysis at Olive Group, a Dubai-based security and life support provider, assisting numerous companies with their market entry and operations within Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. He is also a Lafer fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, covering military and security affairs in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen and the Gulf Arab states.

Michael has specialized in Iraqi political and security risk analysis since the mid-1990s. He has traveled extensively in the region and published widely on security issues as a defense journalist for the Gulf States Newsletter and Jane's Intelligence Review.

Michael earned his doctorate in Iraqi military history at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. His doctoral thesis was published as Cradle of Conflict: Iraq and the Birth of the Modern U.S. Military (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2005). His other publications include the compendium Operation Iraqi Freedom and the New Iraq: Insights and Forecasts (The Washington Institute, 2004); Troubled Waters: The Future of US Security Assistance in the Gulf (The Washington Institute, 2005); Cradle of Conflict: Iraq and the Birth of the Modern U.S. Military (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2005); Calm Before the Storm: The British Experience in Iraq (The Washington Institute, 2006); Provincial Politics in Iraq (The Washington Institute, 2008); Kirkuk in Transition (The Washington Institute, 2010); Iran’s Influence in Iraq: Countering Tehran’s Whole of Government Approach (The Washington Institute, 2011); and The Iraqi Security Forces: Local Context and U.S. Assistance (The Washington Institute, 2011).

Mark Boulware

Senior Advisor, West and Central Africa

Location: New York

Mark Boulware is Horizon’s senior advisor focusing on West/Central Africa. His areas of expertise are political and commercial outlook in major West/Central African states including Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, The Gambia, Chad and Burkina Faso.

Mark joined Horizon after a distinguished career in the US State Department, which culminated in his service as the US ambassador to Mauritania (2007-2010) and the US ambassador to Chad (2010-2013).

His previous postings included service as US consul general in Rio de Janeiro, deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in San Salvador and deputy chief of mission in Yaoundé, Cameroon (concurrently accredited to Equatorial Guinea). He also served in Mali, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Venezuela and Indonesia.

A native of Oklahoma City, Mark studied at the University of Rennes 2 – Upper Brittany in Rennes, France and at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He also graduated from the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Mark is an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro and an honorary chief of the Nso people of Cameroon. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, French and Indonesian.

Eric Benjaminson

Head of Research for Sub-Saharan Africa

Location: New York

Ambassador Eric Benjaminson joined Horizon as a senior advisor in 2014 after a lengthy career in the US State Department spanning more than 30 years. Eric’s professional focus in his diplomatic work centered on international finance and African issues. He previously served in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Washington, D.C., China, Sweden, Belgium, Burkina Faso and Namibia. Eric was later appointed as US ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe, a post he held from 2010 to 2013.

Richard Nephew

Richard Nephew

Senior Analyst

Location: New York

Richard Nephew is Horizon’s senior analyst and a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. He focuses on US government policy and relations with key states. His main area of expertise is US sanctions policy, in particular with regard to Iran and Russia.

From 2013-2015, Richard served as principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department. He also served as the lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran.

From 2011-2013, Richard served as the director for Iran on the National Security Staff, where he was responsible for managing a period of intense expansion of US sanctions on Iran.

From 2006-2011, he served in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department, first as the senior Iran nuclear officer and, starting in 2008, as the Middle East team chief. In this capacity, he developed the US approach to negotiations with Iran as well as the US sanctions strategy at the UN Security Council. He was part of the teams that developed and negotiated UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1929.

From 2003-2006, Richard served at the Department of Energy (DOE), first as a nonproliferation graduate fellow from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and, after 2004, as a special assistant for nonproliferation policy. While at the DOE, he participated in the dismantlement of Libya’s nuclear weapons program, as well as policymaking to address US interests with respect to Iran, North Korea and India.

Richard is the recipient of several awards from the State Department and DOE, including the Secretary of State’s Award for Excellence in International Security in 2010 for his work on UNSCR 1929.

Richard is the author of The Art of Sanctions: A View from the Field (2018).

He holds a master’s degree in security policy studies and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs, both from George Washington University.

Dennis Hays

Dennis Hays

Senior Advisor, Caribbean

Location: Washington, D.C.

Dennis Hays is Horizon’s senior advisor focusing on the Caribbean. His areas of expertise include the political and commercial outlook in Guyana and Suriname and the role of IOCs in the development of the energy and natural resources sector in those countries.

Dennis joined Horizon after a distinguished career in the US State Department, during which time he served as Ambassador to Suriname and acting Ambassador to Guyana, as well as Director for the Office of Mexican Affairs.

Following his service in government, Dennis worked in various capacities as a senior advisor to governments and businesses operating in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Tetsuya Uchida

Senior Advisor

Location: Tokyo

Tetsuya Uchida joined Horizon as senior advisor and representative in Japan in 2017 after a distinguished career in major Japanese and international corporations and financial institutions. Most recently, Mr. Uchida worked for Hitachi, Ltd. as general manager in charge of financing overseas projects.

His previous assignments included service as representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in London covering Europe and Africa and chief representative in Moscow in charge of Russia and CIS countries.

Mr. Uchida also served for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as head of the St. Petersburg office and Senior Banker in charge of Japanese investment at EBRD headquarters in London. He also worked for Japan National Oil Cooperation (JNOC) where he was responsible for financing oil and gas exploration projects.

Mr. Uchida has a bachelor’s degree in law from Waseda University in Tokyo.

Russell J. Hanks

Senior Advisor, Africa

Location: New York

Russell Hanks joined Horizon in 2015 as senior advisor for Africa, specializing in Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Russell earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1977 before embarking on his career. After stints in the construction, textile, printing and power industries, as well as working with a labor union and consulting on employment issues, micro-economic development and political campaigns, he earned a master’s degree in public administration at Northern Arizona University in 1987. He then joined the State Department in 1988.

With a knack for understanding the internal political dynamics in organizations and governments, he spent over 25 years as a diplomat. He filled Foreign Service leadership positions on four continents, experiencing plane crashes, hostage rescues, social upheaval, coups and insurgencies.

During this time, he was tasked with applying his leadership and negotiating skills to the coordination of the interests of the US government with a variety of international organizations and private companies. The challenges he faced included crisis resolution, logistical and administrative problems, and political disputes across the interagency spectrum. He coordinated strategic and tactical planning and communications with NATO facilities, the US European and African Commands, USAID, DOT, HSA, DOE and other agencies in a variety of operations around the globe.

In between other assignments, Russell was sent to the National Defense University, where he earned a master’s degree in national resource strategy in 2008. Through it all, his calm demeanor and sense of humor served to empower his colleagues, helping to focus on results in any situation. Along the way, Russell learned Portuguese, Arabic, and smatterings of numerous other languages.

Rodrigo Inurreta

Management and Strategic Consultant

Location: New York

As Management and Strategic Consultant, Rodrigo is assisting Horizon in formulating, implementing and evaluating our corporate and business strategies worldwide.

Since 2014, Rodrigo has worked as a trusted advisor for several multinational companies in Mexico, including but not limited to US oil and gas majors and super majors, throughout the energy sector ́s value chain (upstream, midstream and downstream).

Rodrigo has helped companies formulate and implement country-entry strategies, assess potential projects in storage and transportation infrastructure, and evaluate fiscal conditions for exploration and production contracts.

Rodrigo is an expert on Mexico's political, security and investment climate, with in-depth knowledge of the country's bilateral relations with the US and fiscal policies in the energy sector.

Rodrigo holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University 's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

Sarah Calderone

Analyst, Russia and Former Soviet States

Location: New York

Sarah Calderone is Horizon’s analyst focused on Russia and former Soviet states. Her areas of expertise include: Russian foreign policy toward the West and neighboring post-Soviet states; transnational issues in the Eurasian region, including security, trade and migration; and domestic politics and energy sector policymaking in Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Sarah is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she earned her Master of International Affairs degree with a concentration in international security policy and the Harriman Institute Certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. While at SIPA, she conducted research at the Harriman Institute, Eurasia Group and Carnegie Moscow Center and completed research trips to Russia, Kazakhstan and Estonia.

Prior to SIPA, Sarah served as program manager at the Institute of Modern Russia, a research and advocacy organization in New York, and was a Fulbright researcher based in Ekaterinburg, Russia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Russian studies and political science from Drew University in New Jersey. She is fluent in Russian.

Michael Lerner

Senior Editor

Location: New York

Michael is Horizon’s senior editor. Prior to joining the firm in 2017, he was a journalist covering business, politics and science around the world.

Fluent in Spanish, Michael is an expert on Latin America, especially Argentina and Chile. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from NYU, with a concentration in international politics and business. His 90-page thesis focused on Argentina’s nationalization of oil firm YPF and the unfolding consequences.

Michael also authored a report in Spanish for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean on natural resource management in Peru, Mexico, Chile, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Scott Barber

Vice President, Business Development

Location: Houston

Scott’s career in the oil and gas sector has spanned over 25 years. He has served in executive positions at Repsol, Devon Energy, Saudi Aramco, Occidental Petroleum and Unocal and worked in a wide variety of environments including Russia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and North America.

Scott has received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MBA degree from The University of Chicago - Booth School of Business.

Mike Davies

Senior Analyst, Southern Africa

Location: Cape Town

For the last 20 years, Mike has specialized in the analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues across sub-Saharan Africa. Mike is an experienced analyst with specialist knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly southern and eastern Africa, across a broad range of sectors, including mining, energy and retail.

Previously, Mike worked for three of the top political and global risk consultancies in the United Kingdom. He has briefed numerous FTSE100 and S&P500 firms and financial sector clients, including asset managers and international financial institutions, on the risks and opportunities of investing sustainably and responsibly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mike received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cape Town and a master's degree in international relations from the University of Warwick.

Cody Pope

Senior Analyst, Africa

Location: New York

Cody joined Horizon in 2014 as a senior analyst for Africa. He has nearly a decade of experience working on energy politics, economic policy and security in central Africa, with a particular focus on the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. He has also live and worked in Kenya and Mozambique.

Before joining Horizon, Cody worked for the World Wildlife Fund in the DRC, and had also worked on security and anti-poaching projects in Mozambique and Uganda. Cody has a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, specializing in international security policy and focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. At Columbia he was awarded the AC4 Fellowship, and did extensive research on Congolese mining projects.

Cody has lived and worked in various countries in the Great Lakes region on and off since 2007. He is fluent in French, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish.