Francesco La Camera
Francesco La Camera is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He was appointed at the Ninth Assembly of IRENA, the ultimate decision-making body of the Agency. Mr. La Camera took office on 4 April 2019 and brings more than thirty years of experience in the fields of climate, sustainability, and international cooperation.
Gauri Singh is the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Ms. Singh brings more than 30 years of experience in policy, advocacy and project implementation within the field of renewable energy and sustainable development from India and the international system
Prior to joining IRENA, Ms. Singh worked within India’s federal government and at the apex level within provincial government. Federally, she was responsible for leading the development of the National Solar Mission of India policy in 2010, an early policy framework designed to drive solar power development across the country. At the Madhya Pradesh provincial Government, Ms. Singh steered rural development providing strategic planning and implementation guidance across the state for large initiatives. Her work involved poverty reduction and sustainable development within rural communities. She was also responsible for spearheading initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods for nearly two million poor women across the state. In Madhya Pradesh, Ms. Singh led livelihood projects based on decentralised renewable energy solutions to support rural artisans and ran an ambitious intervention to restore the flow of 40 rivers across the state, based on the use of remote sensing maps. She also played a key role in drafting the framework for the state Right to Water Act. Prior to that, Ms. Singh was Director, Country support and Partnerships at IRENA where she was responsible for regional and country level initiatives and for spearheading partnerships with regional energy and economic organisations.
Director, Project Facilitation & Support
Ahmed Badr is the Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Project Facilitation and Support division (PFS). The division offers member countries dedicated project implementation support. Mr. Badr joined the Agency in April 2020 and brings more than 30 years of international experience in the field of banking and finance.
In his role, Mr. Badr is tasked with leading the development of the division by building strong lines of cooperation with development banks and international financial institutions. He also spearheads the Agency’s implementation of the Climate Investment Platform, a multi-stakeholder platform established in partnership with SE4All, the UNDP and in coordination with Green Climate Fund, and manages IRENA’s ongoing relationship with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Prior to joining IRENA, Mr. Badr held several senior operational positions in the field of climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and infrastructure projects in a number of multinational financial institutions, including the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Commission (EuropeAid), and Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Mr. Badr is certified a project infrastructure project manager, with a B.Sc in Civil Engineering and Master’s Degree in Infrastructure Economics from the Université de Nantes, France.
Director, Administration and Management Services
Ms. Jelena Barnes is the Director of Administration and Management Services at IRENA. In this role, she leads the agency's financial, budgetary, human resources teams, information and communications technology, procurement, travel and facilities management operations.
With over 20 years of experience across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Ms. Barnes brings a wealth of expertise in resource management, ethics and compliance, programme planning and administration, and policy development and implementation. Her background includes liaison with governing bodies and donors within international organizations, including the United Nations. Ms. Barnes holds a Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh, United Kingdom and a Postgraduate Diploma in Quality Management from Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
Alain Wilfried Biya
Chief of the IRENA New York Office and Permanent Observer to the United Nations
Mr. Alain Wilfried Biya is the Chief of the IRENA New York Office and Permanent Observer to the United Nations (UN). Mr. Biya represents IRENA in all the organs of the UN, promotes active engagement with private sector and financial institutions and oversees the Agency’s involvement with US-based organisations and entities.
Mr. Biya has 18 years of diplomatic experience, including in the field of sustainable development. Previously, he undertook a number of assignments at the Ministry of External Relations of Cameroon on partnerships and cooperation with the European Union and the UN. He also served at the Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the UN in New York where he represented the Cameroon at the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (University of Yaoundé II).
Director, Country Engagement and Partnerships
As Director of the IRENA’s Country Engagement and Partnerships (CEP), 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.
Director, Planning and Programme Support
Ms Elizabeth Press is Director of Planning and Programme Support in the Executive Office of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). She leads the Agency’s programme and strategy development and related activities in IRENA governing bodies. Ms Press represents IRENA in climate-focused organisations and initiatives and leads several special projects, including geopolitics of energy transitions. She also oversees diversification of the Agency’s resource base and is IRENA’s focal point in Europe.
Ms Press has served with IRENA since its inception in 2011. Before joining the Agency, she worked for some 18 years in development and peace and security, predominately with the United Nations. Ms Press served in Africa, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South-East Asia. She has an MA in Public Administration.
Director, Innovation and Technology Centre
As Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC), Roland Roesch 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 becoming Director, he served as IITC Deputy Director from 2018.
Roland joined IRENA in 2012 and has worked in multiple work programs since. For two years prior to joining IRENA, Roland had been Professor for Energy Economics at the University of Applied Science in Damstadt. Previously, he worked for 15 years in the oil and gas and utilities industries for Shell and E.ON, latterly as General Manager Power with Shell and as Head of Division, Project Leader, Project Executive and Technical Project Developer with E.ON. Prior to that, he worked as an Energy Market Consultant for Lahmeyer International and as a researcher in renewable energy. Roland has solid business experience in energy markets, energy economics and strategies, renewable integration management, energy project development and project financing.
Laura Secada Daly
Chief of Staff
Laura Secada Daly is the Chief of Staff of the International Renewable Energy Agency. In her role she is responsible for the overall management of the Executive Office, ensuring the Governance Support Office, Legal Affairs, Protocol and Liaison, Events Management, and Publications, deliver the support needed to enable the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General to lead effectively.
Before joining IRENA, Ms. Secada was Director-General of Climate Change and Desertification under the Ministry of Environment in Peru, where she led the design and implementation of the country´s public policies on climate change. Under her lead the high-level permanent Commission on Climate Change of Peru was established, and as Technical Secretary she guided the process to update the country´s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Prior to that, as the Director for Green House Gas Mitigation, Ms Secada was responsible for developing and coordinating low-carbon public policies and sustainable development in Peru. She is also engaged in UNFCCC Climate Change International Negotiations and led Peru’s COP24 and COP25 delegations in Katowice and Madrid, respectively. Ms. Secada has fostered international cooperation to implement climate change projects with UNDP, SECO Swiss Cooperation, FAO, UNEP- DTU, NDC Partnership, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), International Development Bank, and World Bank, and served as country focal point for Germany´s International Climate Initiative (IKI) and Euroclima+ programme financed by the EU. Ms. Secada holds a Bachelor’s in Science and Philosophy from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru, a Master’s in Conservation Science from Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Peru, and has studied Environmental Change and Management at School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University.
Acting Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC)
Deputy Director, Country Engagement and Partnerships (CEP)
Erick Ruiz Araya
Deputy Director, Project Facilitation and Support (PFS)
Senior Advisor to the Director-General