Dr. Fatih Birol
Executive Director International Energy Agency
Dr Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
since 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has moved to the forefront of global
efforts to reach international climate goals while ensuring that the social and
economic impacts of clean energy transitions are at the heart of policy-making
and energy security is safeguarded.
After taking office, Dr Birol led the IEA in its first comprehensive modernisation
programme since its creation in 1974. These efforts focused on “opening the
doors” of the IEA to major emerging economies including Brazil, China, India
and South Africa; making the IEA the global hub for clean energy transitions; and
broadening the IEA’s energy security mandate beyond oil to also cover electricity,
natural gas, renewables and the critical minerals needed in many of today’s clean
energy technologies. With new governments joining the IEA, under his tenure the
Agency’s share of global energy demand has risen from 40% to 75%.
Dr Birol took up his current position after rising through the ranks of the IEA
over two decades. He joined as a junior analyst in the mid-1990s and rose to
the position of Chief Economist responsible for the IEA’s flagship World Energy
Outlook. Dr Birol has been named in TIME100, TIME’s annual list of the world’s
most influential people. He has also been named by Forbes as one of the most
influential people in the world of energy and by the Financial Times as the Energy
Personality of the Year. He chairs the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy
Advisory Board. He is the recipient of numerous state decorations, including the
French Legion of Honour, 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 for six years. He earned a BSc degree in power
engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul and received an 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 is an honorary life member of the Galatasaray Football Club.