Fatih Birol, the chief economist and director of global energy economics at the International Energy Agency has been appointed executive director of the agency, the Turkish Prime Minister announced on Thursday.
"Birol is an important energy expert for us. When I was the foreign minister of Turkey, I followed the IEA. He was elected by acclamation which shows Turkey's weight in the international organization. I congratulate him on this appointment," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
"Fatih Birol is the first executive director who was elected by acclamation in the agency's history. It made us proud. I believe that he will maintain his success in this new job," said Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in an e-mailed statement.
Birol, a Turk born in Ankara, has been at the IEA as chief economist for nine years, and he has worked for the agency for 20 years. Birol is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Energy Advisory Board and has served as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. Birol studied at the Technical University of Istanbul. He received his MSc and Ph.D in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna.
Prior to joining the IEA, he held a position at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.
Yildiz said that Birol's appointment is an illustration of Turkey's success at energy diplomacy.