Dr Fatih Birol
Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA)
Dr Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since September 2015. He was re-elected in January 2018 for a second four-year term, which will begin in September 2019. Under his leadership, the IEA has undertaken its first comprehensive modernisation programme since its creation in 1974. This effort focuses on three pillars: opening the doors of the IEA to include major emerging countries, such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa who have joined the IEA Family, thus increasing its share of global energy demand from 38% to almost 75%; broadening the IEA’s security mandate to natural gas and electricity as well as oil; and making the IEA the global hub for clean energy technologies and energy efficiency.
Prior to his nomination as Executive Director, Dr Birol spent over 20 years at the IEA, rising through the ranks to the position of Chief Economist responsible for the flagship World Energy Outlook publication. He is also the founder and chair of the IEA Energy Business Council, one of the world’s most active industry advisory groups in energy. Dr Birol has been named by Forbes Magazine as among the most influential people on the world’s energy scene and was recognised by the Financial Times in 2017 as Energy Personality of the Year. He chairs the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on ‘Sustainable Energy for All’. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Japanese Emperor’s Order of the Rising Sun, the Order of the Polar Star from the King of Sweden and the highest Presidential decorations from Austria, Germany and Italy.
Before the IEA, Dr Birol worked at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul and received a MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna. Dr Birol was awarded a Doctorate of Science honoris causa from Imperial College London in 2013. He was also made an honorary life member of Galatasaray Football Club in 2013.