Francesco La Camera is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He brings more than thirty years of experience in the fields of climate, sustainability, and international cooperation.
As Director of the Strategic Management and Executive Direction (SMED), and Chief of Staff, Mohamed El-Farnawany oversees the Governance Support Office, Communications, Legal Affairs, Protocol and 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 Counsellor 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 co-operation 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.
As Director of the Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC), Dr. Rabia Ferroukhi oversees the Agency's work on a range of renewable energy policy issues including design, socio-economic benefits and integrated resource management. Dr. Ferroukhi joined IRENA in 2011 and has over 20 years of experience in the fields of energy, development and environment.
She worked in both public and private sectors, including with governments in the Middle-East and North Africa, energy companies in the Mediterranean region and the GCC, and international institutions. Dr. Ferroukhi holds a Master in Applied Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from the American University in Washington DC.
As Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC) 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, Mr. 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.
Mr. 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.
As Director of the IRENA’s Country Support and Partnerships (CSP), Gurbuz Gonul oversees the Agency’s work on supporting member countries in the development and implementation of national and regional renewable energy strategies and programmes through IRENA’s regional initiatives, tailored country support as well as partnership initiatives.
Mr. Gonul joined IRENA in 2014 as Head of Regions Unit. Formerly, he worked as Senior Energy Economist of the Islamic Development Bank between 2010 and 2014, where he led the work for the development of an Energy Sector Policy for the Bank as well as the processing of complex loan and technical assistance projects in Africa and Asia. Between 2004 and 2010, Mr. Gonul served as Senior Expert at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels, where he spearheaded policy analysis, sectoral in-depth reviews, regional / country reviews concerning energy investments, trade and transportation. He also held positions in the EU Commission’s Delegation in Ankara and Turkey’s Ministry of Energy since 1993.
Mr. Gonul holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Oil and Gas Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.
As Director of the Administration and Management Services (AMS), Bruce Neese oversees the Financial, Budgetary, Human Resources, Information and Communications Technology, Procurement and Facilities Management operations of IRENA.
He has more than 30 years of experience in administrative operations with both for-profit and non-profit entities in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
Mr. Neese has a Bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Business administration from the University of Oklahoma in addition to his financial certifications as CPA, CMA, CTP and qualified financial advisor.
As Director of the Planning and Programme Support (PPS), Elizabeth Press oversees the internal co-ordination and the strategic integration of extra-budgetary resources in IRENA’s programmatic work. She 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.
As Permanent Observer of IRENA to the United Nations and the Chief of the Agency’s New York Office since June 2019, Ahmed Abdel-Latif represents IRENA at the United Nations, and at all the meetings held under its auspices. He also engages with Permanent Missions, UN programs and relevant stakeholders from the private sector, academia and other US based organisations.
Prior to that, Mr. Abdel-Latif served as Chief of the Office of the Director-General. He joined IRENA in November 2015 as Special Assistant for Policy and Programme in the Office of the Director-General.
Before joining the Agency, he was Senior Programme Manager for Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property at the Geneva-based International Center for Trade Sustainable Development (ICTSD) from 2007 to 2015. As a career diplomat, he worked at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was posted to the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva from 2000 to 2004.
Mr. Abdel-Latif holds an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics (LSE), a BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Diplôme of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris).