Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesThe Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Senior Policy Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 6306n.hirst




Sherfield WalkwayElectrical EngineeringSouth Kensington Campus





Neil Hirst is the Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Mitigation at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. He is currently working with China’s Energy research Institute of the NDRC on a joint project on China and International Energy Governance. He is the lead author of the recent Grantham Institute/Chatham House Discussion Paper “The Reform of Global Energy Governance”.   

From 2005 to 2009 Neil was a Director of the International Energy Agency. Initially, as Director for Technology, he pioneered the IEA’s flagship technology publication, Energy Technology Perspectives. Subsequently, as Director for Global Dialogue, he forged closer relations and joint programmes with IEA partner countries, especially China, India, and Russia.

Before that Neil was a senior UK energy official with responsibilities for international energy policy and (at different times) most domestic energy sectors.

In 1997 Neil was the Chairman of the G8 Nuclear Safety Working Group and in 1985-8 he was the Energy Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington. He has worked on energy finance on secondment to Goldman Sachs. He holds a First Class Degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Cornell USA.