Mercedes Gutierrez Barcena is a 2021 Millennium fellow at the Atlantic Council and a deal associate at Shell, based in Dubai. Her focus is on acquisitions, divestments, and new business development in the Middle East, where Shell is working with major resource holders to decarbonize their portfolios and thrive through the energy transition. 

Prior to this, Gutierrez Barcena was the lead economist for a two-billion-dollar joint venture in Iraq aimed at reducing gas flaring, with strong support from the World Bank and local communities. She is passionate about the nexus between energy, development, and politics and has a demonstrated history of working across the energy value chain, from upstream production in Oman and the United Kingdom, to the development of downstream markets for liquefied natural gas in the Netherlands and Shell’s upstream exit from Iraq. Prior to Shell, Gutierrez Barcena worked in Mexico’s Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos—the upstream regulatory body—where she was in charge of developing its international strategy with other national regulatory bodies and international organizations. Mercedes holds a master’s degree in accounting, organizations, and institutions and a bachelor’s degree in international relations, both from the London School of Economics. Having lived in eight countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, she is a firm believer in the need for inclusive if imperfect solutions to tackle today’s challenges. She is the proud mother of two girls who inspire her to break the glass ceiling.