Senior US Diplomat Named IEA Deputy Executive Director

Paul Simons, a senior United States diplomat with a strong background in energy and economic policy, has been selected to be the new Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. Simons will take up his position on 8 July 2015.

“We look forward to welcoming Paul Simons to the IEA,” said Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “He brings a range of diplomatic and management skills that will be valuable to the Agency, especially as we work to deepen relationships with countries beyond the current IEA membership.”

In his role as Deputy Executive Director, Simons will support the Executive Director in providing leadership and strategic direction to the Agency, including advancing the global engagement strategy, strengthening co-operation with non-member countries as well as initiatives with key partner countries.

Simons will also have overall responsibility for co-ordinating internal operations, including the Energy Data Centre, communications and budget activities.

Since 2011, Simons has served as Executive Secretary of the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), where he co-ordinates drug policy and criminal justice reform initiatives for the 34 members of the Organization of American States. As a US diplomat over the previous 30 years, he held a series of senior positions in international energy and economic affairs, Latin American affairs, and narcotics and law enforcement policy.

As US Ambassador to Chile from 2007 to 2010, Simons forged stronger bilateral ties with a focus on energy and the environment, and managed the U.S. response to the 2010 Chilean earthquake. Previous to his posting in Chile, he served for four years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy and Sanctions, where he led U.S. energy diplomacy initiatives worldwide, served on the IEA Governing Board, and chaired the IEA Standing Group on Long-Term Co-operation.

In his previous position as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, he managed more than USD 1 billion in resources for US drug control and police training programmes worldwide. Simons also held management, economic and consular positions at the US Embassies in Israel, Ecuador and Colombia. Before joining the State Department, he worked in international corporate lending at a New York-based commercial bank.

Image: United States Department of State