1 September 2007
IEA welcomes Mr. Nobuo Tanaka
Mr. Nobuo Tanaka commenced his duties as the fifth Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 September 2007. Mr. Tanaka, a Japanese citizen who most recently served as Director for Science, Technology and Industry at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is the first non-European to head the IEA. His appointment had been announced after the IEA Governing Board in Sydney, Australia in December 2006. Mr. Tanaka succeeds Mr. Claude Mandil of France, who retired after serving as IEA Executive Director since February 2003. Mr. Tanaka began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Tokyo. He has extensive national government and international experience within METI, the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and the OECD. Mr. Tanaka first joined the OECD in 1989 as Deputy Director of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, and was promoted to Director in 1992. In 1995, he returned to METI and served in a number of high–ranking positions, the most recent being Director General, Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau. In this role he led many trade negotiations for the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In the energy field, Mr. Tanaka has a wide range of experience. He was responsible for Japan’s involvement with the IEA and the G7 Energy Ministers’ meeting during the second oil crisis after the Iranian revolution. In the late 1980s, he participated in establishing the comprehensive energy policy of Japan. He also oversaw the implementation of Japan’s international nuclear energy policy and led negotiations of bilateral nuclear agreements. Mr. Tanaka worked on formulating international strategy as well as co-ordinating domestic environment policy and energy policy in the Kyoto COP3 negotiation. He was Minister for Industry, Trade and Energy at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C from 1998 to 2000. Mr. Tanaka has a degree in Economics from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife, Gloria, have two children.