Maria van der Hoeven took over as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 September 2011. Ms. Van der Hoeven has steered the IEA during a period of exceptional change in the global energy landscape. While the original IEA mandate of energy security remains at the core of the agency’s mission, the IEA has been challenged by rapidly shifting supply/demand balances for oil as well as other major fuels, affecting its members’ interests and also those within the wider global energy economy. Ms. Van der Hoeven is taking the initiative to address the challenges of global energy governance in the face of changing worldwide requirements. She is determined to strengthen the Agency’s role, enabling it to take the lead in the transition to a secure and sustainable energy future. One of her overarching priorities is implementing a new global engagement strategy to further build and formalise co-operation with the major emerging energy players of the 21st century. Another is expanding modern energy services to the 1.3 billion people worldwide who currently lack them. In recognition of the IEA’s efforts to address the crisis of energy poverty, Ms. Van der Hoeven has been invited to serve on the Advisory Board to the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
Previously, Ms. Van der Hoeven served as Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands from February 2007 to October 2010, during which time she demonstrated leadership on energy policy at the national, regional and global levels.