Press Release: World Energy Council Elects New Board Chair and Officers

13th October 2022

Press ReleaseGlobal

World Energy Council Elects New Board Chair and Officers

The world's oldest independent and impartial membership-based energy organisation expands its Officers’ Council with global energy leaders from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas

13 October 2022: The World Energy Council has elected Dr. Michael Howard as the new Chair of its Officers’ Council (Board of Directors), succeeding Jean-Marie Dauger whose term concluded after serving in the role since September 2019. The election was made at the Council’s Executive Assembly, held this week in conjunction with the Energy Trilemma Summit in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Dr. Howard, who served from 2021-2022 as Co-chair alongside Dauger, is CEO Emeritus of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in the United States, where he served as CEO and President from 2010-2020.

On the appointment, Dr Howard said:

"Energy's role in peoples' lives today is more important than ever. With turbulence and turmoil in global energy markets, along with transitions and transformations underway in all geographies, the value of the independent voice and leadership of the World Energy Council has never been more essential and timely. I greatly look forward to working with my Board colleagues, our worldwide membership, and partners to help ensure that people and planet are at the heart of the energy transitions". 

Also elected by the World Energy Council’s membership at the Executive Assembly were a number of high-level Officers, including:

  • Kim Yin Wong, Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries (Singapore), as the Council’s Vice Chair, Asia, from 2022-2025, succeeding Shigeru (Sam) Muraki who served two terms in the role
  • Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (Nigeria), as Vice Chair, Africa, from 2022-2025, succeeding Dr Elham Ibrahim who served two terms in the role
  • Patricia Vincent-Collawn, Chair and CEO of PNM Resources (USA), as Vice Chair, North America, from 2022-2025
  • Naomi Hirose, former CEO, TEPCO, and Chair, Japanese Energy Association (Japan), as Vice Chair, Impact, from 2022 to 2025, a newly created Board position
  • Claudio Seebach Executive President, Generadoras de Chile (Chile), as Vice Chair, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC), from 2022-2025, succeeding Claudia Cronenbold who has served two terms in the role
  • Dr Leo Birnbaum, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON (Germany), for an additional year as Chair, Studies Committee, from 2022-2023. He has held the role since 2019
  • Dr Klaus Dieter Barbknecht, Rektor, TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany), will serve for an additional year as Vice Chair, Strategic Leadership Communities from 2022-2023. He has held the role since 2021

The following Officer positions remain unchanged:

  • Norbert Schwieters, Chair, Finance
  • Omar Zaafrani, Chair, Communications and Strategy Committee
  • José Antonio Vargas Lleras, Chair, Programme Committee
  • Fahad Alturki, Vice Chair, Middle East and Gulf States
  • Beatrice Buffon, Vice Chair, Europe

Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO of the World Energy Council, said:

“I welcome the depth and diversity of experiences embodied by our new Board and value their support and commitment as generative and generous leaders of the world energy community and in our drive to transformational, transparent and trustworthy transitions.”

For media inquiries, please contact the Council’s media relations team at FTI Consulting: or +44 (0)7929847395

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