Simons has a background in energy and economic policy and will take up his position in July.
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said that Simons “brings a range of diplomatic and management skills that will be valuable to the agency, especially as we work to deepen relationships with countries beyond the current IEA membership”.
Simons will support van der Hoeven in providing leadership and strategic direction to the IEA, including advancing the global engagement strategy, strengthening cooperation with non-member countries as well as initiatives with key partner countries.
He will have overall responsibility for coordinating internal operations, including the Energy Data Centre, communications and budget activities.
Simons joins the IEA from the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), which coordinates drug policy and criminal justice reform initiatives.
He was US Ambassador to Chile from 2007 to 2010 and prior to that was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy and Sanctions.