Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Dr. Fatih Birol has served as executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) since September 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has undertaken its first comprehensive modernization program since its creation in 1974. This effort focuses on including major emerging countries who have joined the IEA, 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 current position, Dr. Birol spent over twenty 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 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 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. He earned a bachelor’s degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul and receive a master’s degree 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.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up for the Global Energy Center newsletter to stay up to date on the program’s work.