On 1 September, Fatih Birol took office as the new Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Birol’s selection as IEA Executive Director marks one of the rare occasions that the head of an international organisation has been selected from within its ranks.
“It is the privilege of a lifetime to be chosen to run the IEA, and I am deeply honoured by the trust that each one of our 29 member countries has placed in me,” he said.
Well known and respected internationally for his work in the energy field, Birol joined the IEA in 1995 and most recently held the positions of Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics, with responsibilities that included directing the flagship World Energy Outlook publication. He is also the founder and chair of the IEA Energy Business Council, which provides a forum to enhance cooperation between decision makers in the highest levels of government and industry.
Earlier in his career, Birol served in the Secretariat of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He has also been a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All and was named by Forbes magazine among the most influential people on the world’s energy scene. He is the recipient of numerous awards from governments from all parts of the world.
Birol becomes the seventh Executive Director to lead the IEA, which was founded in 1974. He succeeds former Dutch Minister Maria van der Hoeven.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling