The International Energy Forum (IEF) announced the appointment of Dr Leila R. Benali as Chief Economist.
With this appointment, Secretary General Joseph McMonigle strengthens the team at the IEF, the world’s largest energy organisation with more than 70 sovereign members, to deliver on its mission to enhance global energy security and market stability.
"Leila is not only a recognised expert in energy economics and corporate strategies, but she brings a wealth of experience in policies, investments, finance and energy diplomacy," Secretary General McMonigle said.
"She joins our leadership team at an exciting time when the IEF is becoming the key interlocutor in the global energy market, providing support to our member countries to benefit from security and stability as they adapt to the energy transition," he added.
In her new role, Dr Benali acts as chief advisor to the Secretary General, Ministers and IEF Executive Board on strategic direction, energy markets and data analysis and major trends affecting the sector in terms of investments, strategies, technologies and market fundamentals.
She will lead the strategic work of the forum on energy policies in a post-COVID-19 recovery and the energy transition to low carbon economies for advanced, emerging market and low- income countries.
She will also manage the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), which aims to improve data transparency in energy markets, and will represent the Secretary General and the Forum with counterparts in member countries, as well as policymakers, international organisations, energy industry and financial institutions.
“At a time when the post-crisis recovery will be asynchronous, mixed and not necessarily sustainable for all, the International Energy Forum is well positioned to support its member countries,” Dr Benali said.
“In addition to sustainability, energy security and market stability which are at the heart of our mandate, other priority initiatives include energy access and poverty, investments, digitalization and global energy governance,” she added.
Dr Benali comes to the IEF from the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) where she was Chief Economist and Head of Strategy and Sustainability. Previously, she was head of energy policy and gas strategy at Saudi Aramco; director at IHS, a global research firm and consultancy in security and energy; a professor at Sciences Po; and an industrial engineer at Schlumberger.
In 2019, she was appointed by HRH King Mohammed VI of Morocco as a member of the country’s New Development Model Committee. In 2016, she was named as a "Future Leader" by the Petroleum Economist, as one individual most likely to shape the future of the industry. She has published numerous papers and books on energy, reforms and sustainable wealth.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Mohammadia Engineering School and the Ecole Centrale Paris, in addition to a Master’s in political science and PhD Summa Cum Laude in Energy Economics from Sciences Po. She is an executive committee member of the Arab Energy Club.