Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Fatih Birol took office as the new Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 September 2015, ushering in a new era for the global energy authority.
Well known and respected internationally for his work in the energy field, Dr. Birol joined the IEA in 1995. Most recently prior to his elevation to Executive Director, he 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. Dr. Birol’s selection as IEA Executive Director marked one of the rare occasions that the head of an international organisation has been selected from within its ranks.
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 unique perspective on the producer-consumer relationship. 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.
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 a MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna and a Doctorate honoris causa from Imperial College London. He is an honorary lifetime member of Galatasaray Football Club.
Dr. Birol is the seventh Executive Director to lead the IEA, which was founded in 1974. He succeeded former Dutch Minister Maria van der Hoeven.