Ms. Maria van der Hoeven, Former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Senior Associate Fellow, Ciep Clingendael
Ms Maria van der Hoeven is a Dutch professional with broad political and managerial expertise.
She started her professional career as a teacher. Later on she became director of a Vocational Training Centre for Adults and director of Technology Centre Limburg. In these jobs she demonstrated great competence in managing change and transition.
Her political career started in 1974 when she was elected as member of the City Council of Maastricht, her home town. In 1991 she became Member of Parliament. In this capacity she fulfilled several functions within her caucus. She was vice-president of the House of Parliament for several years.
From 2002 to 2007 Ms van der Hoeven served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and from 2007 to 2010 as Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy. In both capacities she demonstrated leadership at national, regional and EU level.
Ms van der Hoeven took over as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 September 2011 and led the IEA during a period of exceptional change in the global energy economy, as rapidly shifting supply/demand balances for oil and other major fuels transform the IEA’s traditional mandate. Her mandate ended on 31 August 2015.
Ms van der Hoeven responded by enhancing IEA engagement with key non-member countries including Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. Under her leadership, the IEA admitted its 29th member, Estonia, and increased its co-operation with OPEC and the International Energy Forum (IEF) as well as signed a partnership accord with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), APEC and other multi-lateral institutions.
Ms. Van der Hoeven has repeatedly emphasised the close link between climate and energy policy. As a member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, led by former President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, she has initiated discussions between policy makers and industry representatives on the impact of climate change on energy security, and sought to raise awareness among young people around the world of the problem of climate change and the need to get informed and take action. She has also promoted renewables and energy efficiency as part of the critical role she believes innovation and technology play in contributing to energy security while supporting climate goals.
These and her other initiatives reflect her overall focus on energy security in all forms, for all people. That includes the hundreds of millions around the world who lack access to modern energy services, and in recognition of her efforts in this area, she served on the Advisory Board for the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative from 2013-2015. Since 2014 she has been a member of the UN Advisory Council for "Powering the Future We Want- Recognising Innovative Practices in Energy for Sustainable Development"
Since September 2015 Ms van der Hoeven has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado (US) and senior associate fellow at Clingendael International Energy Program (CIEP).
Since spring 2016 Ms van der Hoeven has been a member of the Board of Directors of Total (France) and a member of the Supervisory Board of RWE AG (Germany). From October 2016 she will be member of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative (European Commission).
Ms van der Hoeven is a recognised speaker on energy at international fora and symposia.