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IEA Executive Director receives Carnot Prize from the University of Pennsylvania

17 November 2016

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann awards this year's Carnot Prize to Dr Fatih Birol (photo: IEA)

Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, was awarded the second annual Carnot Prize from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design for his “distinguished contributions to energy policy.”  

‌‌“We honor Fatih Birol for guiding the complex and politically-fraught process of global collaboration on energy policy,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Dr Birol is steadily advancing inclusivity and equity by expanding the IEA’s role beyond primarily ‘first-world’ interests to encompass a much broader global community.”

President Gutmann also announced the creation of a new graduate student fellowship program at the IEA’s headquarters in Paris. The programme, which was named in honor of Dr Birol, will provide new opportunities for a rising generation of Penn-educated leaders.

“I am extremely honored by this distinction, which celebrates a forefather of the energy revolution, a mathematician and scientist—Nicolas Sadi Carnot,” said Dr Birol, “Carnot’s work has helped improve our understanding of energy efficiency, a topic to which we are very much attached at the IEA. It’s a special pleasure to be in the company of Penn students who will be the future leaders of our industry.”

Dr Birol announced that his $25,000 in prize money would go toward IEA’s efforts working with the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a high-level global forum that works to advance clean energy. Specifically, IEA will help support CEM’s Women in Clean Energy initiative.

During the award, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz gave personal remarks praising Birol in a recorded video presentation.  

“Fatih Birol perfectly embodies the ideals of the Carnot Prize. He is a distinguished scholar who brings insight, enthusiasm, and charisma to bear on the enormous challenges facing the global energy and climate systems,” said PennDesign Dean and Paley Professor Frederick Steiner.