Maria van der Hoeven, former Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, took charge as the new Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 September. She was elected in March by the IEA Governing Board to succeed Mr. Nobuo Tanaka of Japan.

"I am thoroughly convinced of the value of the IEA's world-class expertise in meeting today's energy challenges, and it is therefore vital that our expertise remain unrivalled, objective and focused on the right issues," said Van der Hoeven.

Van der Hoeven served as Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands from February 2007 to October 2010. As minister, she took the initiative in advancing several key aspects of her country's energy policy, including unbundling, infrastructure modernisation and extension, developing the Dutch gas hub policy, and accelerating the development and use of renewables. She played an active role in European energy policy development, with a special focus on issues such as market liberalisation and energy security.

Prior to becoming Minister of Economic Affairs, Van der Hoeven was Minister of Education, Culture and Science from 2002 to 2007. She was an elected member of the Netherlands House of Representatives of the States-General from 1991 to 2002. Until 1987 she was head of the Adult Commercial Vocational Training Centre in Maastricht, after which she served as head of the Limburg Technology Centre until 1991.

A native Dutch speaker, Ms. Van der Hoeven is fluent in English and speaks French and German.

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Date: Friday, 02 September 2011
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