Fatih Birol

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Fatih Birol
International Energy Agency Director Fatih Birol in Paris in 2019
Birol in 2019
Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
Assumed office
1 September 2015
DeputyMary Burce Warlick
Preceded byMaria van der Hoeven
Personal details
Born (1958-03-22) 22 March 1958 (age 64)
Ankara, Turkey
Alma materIstanbul Technical University
Vienna University of Technology

Fatih Birol (born 22 March 1958, in Ankara) is a Turkish economist and energy expert, who has served as the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) since 1 September 2015. During his time in charge of the IEA, he has taken a series of steps to modernise the Paris-based international organisation, including strengthening ties with emerging economies like India[1] and China and stepping up work on the clean energy transition and international efforts to reach net zero emissions.[2]

Birol was on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people in 2021,[3] has been named by Forbes magazine among the most influential people on the world's energy scene[4] and recognised by the Financial Times in 2017 as Energy Personality of the Year.[5] Birol is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum (Davos) Energy Advisory Board. He is a frequent contributor to print and electronic media and delivers numerous speeches each year at major international summits and conferences.[6]

Early career[edit]

Prior to joining the IEA as a junior analyst in 1995, Birol worked at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. Over the years at the IEA, Birol worked his way up to the job of Chief Economist, a role in which he was in charge of the IEA's closely watched World Energy Outlook report, before he became Executive Director in 2015.

A Turkish citizen, Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Istanbul Technical University. He received his MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna. In 2013, Birol was awarded a Doctorate of Science honoris causa by Imperial College London. He was made an honorary life member of the football club Galatasaray S.K. in 2013.

Other activities[edit]

  • Africa Europe Foundation (AEF), Member of the High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations (since 2020)[7]

Honours and medals[edit]

Ribbon bar Award or decoration Country Date Place Note Ref.
Medal for Outstanding Service of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey  Turkey 1 October 2005 Paris [8]
Palmes academiques Chevalier ribbon.svg Ordre des Palmes Académiques  France 1 October 2006 Paris [9]
AUT Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria - 9th Class BAR.png Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria  Austria 1 March 2007 Vienna [9]
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 3 BVK 1Kl.svg First Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany  Germany 19 November 2009 Berlin [9]
ITA OMRI 2001 Uff BAR.svg Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic  Italy 14 June 2012 Paris [9]
SWE Order of the Polar Star (after 1975) - Knight 1st Class BAR.png First Class Order of the Polar Star  Sweden 11 December 2013 Stockholm [9][10]
JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg First Class Order of the Rising Sun  Japan 30 January 2014 Paris [9][11]
Melchett Medal  United Kingdom 2017 [12]
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg Chevalier of the Legion of Honour  France 1 January 2022 Paris [9][13]


  1. ^ "India inks MoU with International Energy Agency for global energy security, sustainability". The Hindu. 2021-01-27. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  2. ^ "Paris climate agreement at risk of failure, says energy chief". The Telegraph. July 25, 2021. Retrieved July 25, 2021.(Subscription required.)
  3. ^ "Fatih Birol: The 100 Most Influential People of 2021". TIME. September 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "T. Boone Pickens Picks The World's Seven Most Powerful In Energy". Forbes. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
  5. ^ "Energy personality of the year: Fatih Birol, IEA". The Sunday Times. December 18, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.(Subscription required.)
  6. ^ "Climate commitments are 'not enough', says Birol". World Nuclear News. April 22, 2021.
  7. ^ High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations Africa Europe Foundation (AEF).
  8. ^ "Dışişleri Bakanlığı Üstün Hizmet Ödülü ile Devlet Nişan ve Madalyaları" (in Turkish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Awards of Fatih Birol". World Energy Outlook. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Fatih Birol'a İsveç'ten Kraliyet Nişanı (Turkish)". NTV. 11 December 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  11. ^ "IEA Chief Economist receives Japanese Emperor's Order of the Rising Sun". International Energy Agency. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Melchett and Cadman Awards and Lectures - Past Melchett Award winners". Energy Institute. 2018-02-21. Archived from the original on 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  13. ^ "Journal officiel de la République française" (PDF). République française. 1 January 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Executive Director of the International Energy Agency