Fatih Birol takes office as executive director of global energy authority
REUTERS photoDr. Fatih Birol took office on Sept. 1 as the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), ushering in a new era for the global energy authority, the IEA said in a written statement.
“Having worked at the IEA for 20 years, he started the job with an intimate knowledge of where its strengths lie and where – and how – it can improve its ability to effectively respond to the changes taking place in the global energy landscape,” said the organization.
Dr. Birol’s selection as the IEA’s executive director marks one of the rare occasions the head of an international organization 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 honored 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, Dr. 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 co-operation between decision-makers in the highest levels of government and industry.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Birol served in the Secretariat of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an experience which gives him a perspective on the producer-consumer relationship. He has also been a member of the U.N. 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, according to the statement.
A Turkish citizen, Dr. Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. After initially studying power engineering at the University of Istanbul, he went on to receive an MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna and a Doctorate honoris causa from Imperial College London.