Nobuo Tanaka is currently the Global Associate for Energy Security and
September 1 of 2011. As Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
(IEA) from 2007 to 2011, he oversaw a seminal period in the Agency’s work and
direction. Under his leadership, the IEA initiated a collective release of oil stocks
in June 2011, the third such collective action in the Agency’s history, opening
new scope and a new era for IEA emergency action. He was responsible for
pioneering the concept of ‘comprehensive energy security’ while also expanding
the Agency’s focus on climate change, renewable energy and the transition to a
low-carbon energy economy. He also played a crucial and personal role in the
strengthening of ties with major IEA non-Member energy players, including
China, India, Russia, etc.
He began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
including Director-General of the Multilateral Trade System Department. In this
capacity, he led many trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) and for bilateral Free Trade Agreements. He was deeply engaged in a
range of bilateral trade and economic issues with the US as Minister for Industry,
Trade and Energy at the Embassy of Japan, Washington DC from 1998 to 2000,
as well serving as the first secretary of the Embassy from 1982 to 1985.
With a strong background in international affairs, He has served as both Deputy
Director and Director for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) of the Paris-
based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).