Paul Simons has been actively engaged in global energy and climate change policymaking for more than two decades. Since 2020, he has served as a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs, teaching and mentoring students in the clean energy transition. He is also the founding director of the Yale Emerging Climate Leaders Fellowship, a new program to develop a network of leading clean energy and climate change practitioners from the Global South.
From 2015 to 2020, Simons served as deputy executive director and chief operating officer of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the leading global authority for energy and climate change analysis and policy development. At the IEA, he led outreach activities with major emerging economies, drawing China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico into the IEA family. He also coordinated IEA participation in the G20 process, the leading global forum for multilateral cooperation, and edited all major IEA publications including the benchmark World Energy Outlook. Simons launched in-depth energy policy reviews of key IEA countries and led IEA participation in the annual U.N. COP climate change process. He continues to work with the IEA as a senior adviser on key energy and climate policy reviews.
Previously, during a three-decade diplomatic career, Simons served as U.S. Ambassador to Chile, managing one of the deepest U.S. bilateral relationships in the hemisphere, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy and Sanctions, where he coordinated U.S. energy diplomacy initiatives worldwide. Earlier in his State Department career, he ran the Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau and participated for more than a decade in Middle East peace negotiations. Prior to his diplomatic service, Simons worked in international corporate banking. He holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University.