Carter William Page (born June 3, 1971) is an American oil industry consultant and a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential election campaign. Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a one-man investment fund and consulting firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business. He has been a focus of the 2017 Special Counsel investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials and Russian interference on behalf of Trump during the 2016 Presidential election.
Page was raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated from Poughkeepsie’s Our Lady of Lourdes High School in 1989.
Page graduated in 1993 from the United States Naval Academy; he was a Distinguished Graduate (top 10% of his class) and was chosen for the Navy’s Trident Scholar program, which gives selected officers the opportunity for independent academic research and study. During his senior year at the Naval Academy, he worked as a researcher for the House Armed Services Committee. He served in the Navy for five years, including a tour in western Morocco as an intelligence officer for a United Nations peacekeeping mission. In 1994, he completed a master of arts degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University.
After leaving the Navy, Page completed a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2001 he received an MBA from New York University. In 2000, he began work as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch in the firm’s London office, was vice president of the company’s Moscow office, and later served as COO for Merrill Lynch’s energy and power department in New York. Page has stated that he worked on transactions involving Gazprom and other leading Russian energy companies. According to business people interviewed by Politico in 2016, Page’s work in Moscow was at a subordinate level, and he himself remained largely unknown to decision-makers.
After leaving Merrill Lynch in 2008, Page founded his own investment fund, Global Energy Capital with partner James Richard and a former mid-level Gazprom executive, Sergei Yatsenko. The fund operates out of a Manhattan co-working space shared with a booking agency for wedding bands, and as of late 2017, Page was the firm’s sole employee. Other businesspeople working in the Russian energy sector said in 2016 that the fund had yet to actually realize a project.
In 1998, Page joined the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm, but left three months later. In 2017, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer recalled on his Twitter feed that Page’s strong pro-Russian stance was “not a good fit” for the firm and that Page was its “most wackadoodle” alumnus. Stephen Sestanovich later described Page’s foreign-policy views as having “an edgy Putinist resentment” and a sympathy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s criticisms of the US. Over time, Page became increasingly critical of US foreign policy toward Russia, and more supportive of Putin, with a US official describing Page as “a brazen apologist for anything Moscow did”. Page is frequently quoted by Russian state television, where he is presented as a “famous American economist”. In 2013, Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit Page, and one described him as enthusiastic about business opportunities in Russia but an “idiot”. News accounts in 2017 indicated that because of these ties to Russia, Page had been the subject of a FISA warrant in 2014, at least two years earlier than was indicated in the stories concerning his role in the 2016 Presidential campaign of Donald Trump.