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Adnan Z. Amin
Director-General of IRENA

Adnan Z. Amin is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), currently serving his second term. He has over twenty five years of experience and recognized accomplishments in the international arena, primarily in the fields of sustainable development, international energy and environment policy, as well as a solid track record in institutional and organisational development and management of international organisations.

Mr. Amin joined IRENA in 2010 as the Interim Director-General of the Preparatory Commission for IRENA. In April 2011, he was elected as the agency’s first Director-General. During his tenure, IRENA has become the global authority on renewable energy and a vibrant international organisation. The agency today provides the world community with a strong international cooperation framework to accelerate sustainable energy transformation, as a major pathway to fostering sustainable development and one of the most important solutions to climate change.

A key priority of Mr. Amin’s tenure at IRENA was to create an inclusive and agile agency, responsive to the needs of its Members. In only five years, IRENA membership almost tripled since he took office, growing to over 170 countries in 2015. His close cooperation with the United Nations (UN) and its entities resulted in IRENA being the acknowledged lead agency for climate action in renewable energy with concrete initiatives profiled in key events such as the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit and at COP21 in Paris, France. Under Mr. Amin’s leadership, IRENA was also selected as the Hub for Renewable Energy within the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, bringing together countries, private sector and civil society to advance the objectives of the initiative. Read more

Sakari Oksanen
Deputy Director-General of IRENA

As Deputy Director-General since December 2015, Sakari Oksanen supports the Director-General in managing IRENA’s work programme and associated resources. He leads and oversees IRENA’s programmatic work, ensuring close linkages amongst planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programmatic activities.

Prior to joining IRENA, Mr. Oksanen worked as a Managing Director and in various senior management positions with two Nordic consulting groups in their operations in Finland, China, Singapore and Thailand. He has 25 years of international management experience in the field of technical advisory and engineering design for energy, infrastructure and industry sectors. Apart from company management, Mr. Oksanen has led and participated as an advisor in numerous national energy planning, investment analysis and renewable energy studies and investment projects in Africa and Asia. He has a Master’s degree in energy economy and power systems from Helsinki University of Technology.

Mohamed El - Farnawany
Director, Strategic Management & Executive Direction

As Director, Strategic Management and Executive Direction, and Chief of Staff of IRENA, Mohamed El-Farnawany oversees the Governance Support Office, Communications, Legal Affairs, Protocol & Liaison, in addition to the agency’s Observer Office in New York. He started his work with the agency in October 2011 as Secretary of the Governing Bodies. 

Before joining IRENA, Mr. El-Farnawany represented Egypt as Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Chief of Mission in Paris. Prior to this assignment, he held a number of positions in his Government and its diplomatic service, including Political and Economic Officer in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Congressional Liaison in Washington, D.C. 

He served in New York as Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations, where he actively participated in the 2005 World Summit, as well as other negotiations including financing for development, South-South cooperation and funds and programmes. He later worked in the UN Secretariat as Senior Officer in the Secretary General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment. 

Earlier in his career, Mr. El-Farnawany was a Teaching and Research Assistant in international relations and development studies at the American University in Cairo and International Coordinator at the Arab Organization for Human Rights. 

Mr. El-Farnawany holds a Master’s of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, U.K. He graduated from the Diplomatic Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics from the American University in Cairo.

Dolf Gielen
Director of the Innovation and Technology Center in Bonn - IITC

As director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn since 2011, Dolf Gielen oversees the agency’s work on advising member countries in the area of technology status and roadmaps, energy planning, cost and markets and innovation policy frameworks.

Before joining IRENA, Dolf Gielen was Chief of the Energy Efficiency and Policy Unit at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna. In that capacity, he managed a number of large projects involving energy efficiency and renewable energy (including those in Sri Lanka, Ukraine and India). Previously, he was a Senior Energy Analyst in the Energy Technology Policy Division of the International Energy Agency, Paris.

Dolf Gielen has a PhD in Energy and Materials Modelling from the Technical University of Delft. He graduated with an MA in Environmental Sciences at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

David Iyamah
Director, Administration and Management Services

David Iyamah joined IRENA in June 2015 as Director of the Administration and Management Services Division, with responsibility for overseeing the provision of human resources, budget and finance, general services, procurement and information communication and technology sections. Mr. Iyamah brings over 29 years of senior management work experience in the United Nations, government, non-profit and public sectors, focusing on administration and management, financial management, strategic planning, programme/project development and implementation in the field of international development.

Prior to IRENA, he served as Director of the Administrative Services Division at the United Nations Regional Commission for Western Asia in Beirut from 2007-2015. Previously, he was Programme Manager and Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the World Health Organization. He was Regional Chief Operating and Administrative Coordinator at Plan International USA, establishing several country programmes and offices in West Africa and has also worked as Budget Manager for the state of California. Mr. Iyamah also served as a member of the UNRWA Provident Fund Board and chaired the United Nations Secretariat-wide Working Group on staff mobility and rotation.

Mr. Iyamah holds a Master’s degree in International Development Economics and Finance from the University of California, Davis, California, USA.

Elizabeth Press
Director, Planning and Programme Support

As Director, Planning and Programme Support, Elizabeth Press oversees the internal coordination and the strategic integration of extra-budgetary resources in IRENA’s programmatic work; leads the reporting on programmatic matters to governing bodies and individual donors; facilitates Agency-wide participation in global or thematic initiatives; and contributes to strengthening IRENA’s presence in Europe, including at the EC level and with Germany as Host Country.

Ms. Press joined IRENA in November 2010 and was a member of the team that led the transition from the Preparatory Commission to becoming a full-fledged Agency in April 2011. Prior to joining IRENA, Ms. Press had some 18 years of international experience, mainly with the United Nations, in the field of development, humanitarian assistance, rule of law and political affairs. She has served in HQ duty stations in New York and Geneva, as well as in different field locations, including Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Cambodia, and Kosovo. Ms. Press holds an MA in Public Administration.

Henning Wuester
Director of the Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre - KPFC

Henning Wuester oversees the Agency’s work on knowledge, policy and finance, including: efforts to produce up-to-date and authoritative renewable energy data and information; analysis to identify best practice in renewable energy policies and finance; and advice and support to countries, tailoring policy and investment analysis to renewables deployment in the field.

Prior to joining IRENA, Dr. Wuester worked for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as Senior Manager at the Interim Secretariat, supporting the GCF Board, developing the Fund’s business model framework, administrative policies and procedures, and negotiating the headquarters agreement with the Republic of Korea. Previously, he was Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and worked at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in several roles in the secretariat of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. In both organizations a focus was on the linkages between energy policy and climate change or air pollution and involved energy modelling at an international scale. 

Henning Wuester started his career as Assistant Professor in the economics faculty of the University of Munich and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Munich.

Rabia Ferroukhi
Senior Programme Officer – Policy Advice & Deputy Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC)

Luay Naim Shalkhoub
Chief Procurement Officer (AMS)

Timothy Hurst
Chief Communications Officer (SMED)

Jinah Lee
Chief Human Resources (AMS)

Roland Roesch
Senior Programme Officer, Renewable Energy Markets and Technology Dialogue (IITC)

Neil MacDonald
Senior Editor and Publications Manager (SMED)

Takatsune Ito
Senior Programme Officer, Innovation and Technology (IITC)

Jeffrey Skeer
Senior Programme Officer – Technology Cooperation (Bioenergy) (IITC)

Ms. Jennifer DeCesaro
Senior Programme Officer, Technical Assistance and Advisory Services (CSP)

Gurbuz Gonul
Senior Programme Officer - Regions (CSP)

Adrian Whiteman
Senior Programme Officer – Statistics (KPFC)

Marianne Lavergne
Legal Advisor (SMED)

Michael Taylor
Senior Analyst, Renewable Cost Status and Outlook (IITC)


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