Short Biographies of the Plenary Speakers


Christophe Bonnery

President, International Association for Energy Economics 

Christophe Bonnery is President of the International Association for Energy Economics, IAEE ( . He is Vice President, Economics & Prospective, ENEDIS, the French power distribution company. He is also President of the French Association for Energy Economics since 2009.

He created in 2012 the French Circle of Energy Economists, to promote energy economics to energy policy makers. He created the Marcel Boiteux Award in 2011, which recognizes the best French book on energy economics ( every year.

Recently he was Vice President, Energy Policy for the AREVA Group. His role consisted in understanding current energy policies and promoting acceptable evolutions for all stakeholders: Governments, industries, consumers, researchers. In this position, he developed an influencing expert network in various countries.

He was previously Vice President, Economic & Prospective Studies, AREVA. In this role, he headed a team of Senior Energy experts in charge of electricity markets, competitiveness assessments and all primary energies analyses.

He also serves as Project Manager for a program aiming to define potential synergies between nuclear and oil industries for heavy oil production.

He is member of the French Association of Petroleum Technicians/ Economic Section and of French Gas Association. He was also member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Energy & Geopolitics Studies (Paris-Dauphine University).

Mr. Bonnery received his M.Sc in General Engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France, and MBA in Petroleum Economics and Management from the Center for Economics and Management, IFP School, Paris, France.

His former affiliations include: Head of the Economics Department, NUSYS consulting company, Paris, France; Commercial Director, International Division, SGN, Paris, France; Project-consultant, Shell, Paris, France; Research Assistant, Economic and Industrial Research Division, University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

He participated and organized more than 250 conferences and policymakers ’advisor contributing to national energy policies on resources assessments, power generation technologies, energy demand modelling, energy and poverty, market designs, energy tariffs, regulation, etc…

Christophe Bonnery has been awarded the Knighthood of the National Order of Merit.

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Peter Howie

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University

Peter Howie is an Associate Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Public Policy at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. His research focuses on natural resource economics, policy and management; energy policy; development economics; and comparative economics. He is particularly interested in energy, development, regulatory issues in resource-dependent economies. Recent work focuses on climate mitigation policies, the relationship between inequality and informality in resource-dependent economies, policies related to informal entrepreneurs, and structural change in resource-dependent economies.  All of these research projects use Kazakhstan as a case study.


In addition to this research, Prof. Howie is a co-author of a study that examined the effectiveness of Kazakhstan’s breast screening program with two researchers from the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine. 


Furthermore, Prof. Howie has recently joined a multi-year research project managed by academics from St. Andrews University, Scotland that is examining career mobility in Kazakhstan’s extractive industries.  This latter research is evaluating if Kazakhstan in on a proper path to sustainable development in its oil & gas and mining sectors. The intent of this research is to propose regulations to the Government of Kazakhstan to improve the capacity of nationals working in Kazakhstan’s extractive industries. 


Finally, as a member of the Graduate School of Public Policy, Prof. Howie contributes to the School’s course portfolio by teaching courses in Benefit Cost Analysis and Natural Resource Policy and Management.


Çetin Önder İncekara

Transit Pipeline Manager in BOTAS (Turkish Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Company)

He graduated from METU Civil Engineering Department in 1993 as Honor Student and got two M.Sc.; METU Civil Engineering and Eng-MBA in Industrial Engineering. His Ph.D. thesis subject is "Developing Energy Optimization Models for the Establishment of Turkey’s Sustainable Strategic Energy Policies and its Action Plan: Related Implementation Steps".

Dr. İncekara is working as Transit Pipeline Manager in BOTAS (Turkish Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Company). He was the Construction Manager of BTC Crude Oil Project, i.e. Ceyhan Marine Terminal, Tender & Contract Manager and General Manager Technical Advisor in BOTAS.

Dr. İncekara is working in energy modeling, fuzzy systems, energy resource planning, energy strategies & policies, energy technologies, and has many publications about them. He is the member of “Middle East Technical University Alumni Association Energy Committee”, “World Energy Council Turkish National Committee”, “UNECE-United Nations Energy Committee for Europe”, “The Institute of Internal Auditors”, “U.S. International Exchange Alumni Association”. He is PMP & CCSA and the expert Reviewer/Referee in SCI (Science Citation Index) Journals, i.e. Elsevier Journals (New York/U.S.A.); Energy Policy, Energy, Ecological Engineering, Mary Ann Liebert (New York/U.S.A.); Environmental Engineering Science, Springer (New York/U.S.A.); Environment, Development and Sustainability, Environmental Science and Technology.

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Sarah Jezernik

Deputy General Manager, Plinovodi d.o.o, Slovenia

M.Sc. Sarah Jezernik completed her graduate and postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Maribor in the field of International Economics. She started her business career as a bank scholarship holder and gained first working experience in Austrian bank in Prague, Czech Republic. She continued her career in the banking sector in Slovenia on various management positions for the next ten years. In her twenty years of working experiences, she has worked also on management positions in finance, real estate and marketing. Since 2012, she has been employed at the company Plinovodi d.o.o. as Deputy General Manager, where she is responsible for the economic and legal fields, as well as general affairs. She has been President of the Slovenian Association for Energy Economics (SAEE) since 2015, and she is a member of the Working Group of the International Gas Union (IGU). Among other functions, she is a member of the Management Board of the Women’s Manager Section of the Managers' Association of Slovenia and since 2016 certified member of the Slovenian Directors’ Association. With the desire to develop the environment for the benefit of all, she was among the initiators and supporters of the informal group for the exchange of good personnel (HR) practices "Še boljši" (Eng., "Opening Windows") and of socially responsible project for young male and female engineers "Inženirji in inženirke bomo" (Eng., "We are going to be Engineers"), which are developing successfully, since 2014.


She is fluent in the English, German and Croatian/Serbian languages, and has basic knowledge of the Italian and Czech languages. She holds Slovenian and British citizenships.


Aiymgul Kerimray

Energy and Environment Consultant

Dr. Aiymgul Kerimray has 9 years of experience in conducting research on the various aspects of energy and environment. She obtained her MSc in Environmental and Energy Engineering at Sheffield University (UK) in 2008 and PhD in Science and Technology at Nazarbayev University in 2018. The title of her PhD Thesis was “Modelling of residential heat decarbonisation pathways in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. The aim of her thesis is to improve the evidence base informing policy decisions regarding the energy transition.   Aiymgul Kerimray contributed to the development of the energy system models for Kazakhstan and its regions, preparation of the scenarios of greenhouse gases emissions for Kazakhstan, she was one of the authors/co-cauthors in the top peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. Energy Policy, Climate Policy, Energy Efficiency, etc). One of her research papers was dedicated to the analysis of the energy efficiency indicators and decomposition analysis of the energy intensity.  She has conducted a study on the energy poverty in Kazakhstan based on the Households Living Conditions Survey (paper published in Local Environment Journal). She delivered many presentations at various international and local conferences. She is a reviewer of Biannual Reports and National Communications for the UNFCCC. She has been consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, International Energy Agency on the projects related to sustainable transport, climate change, energy efficiency, clean technology.

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Adam Sieminski

President, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Saudi Arabia

Adam Sieminski is the president of KAPSARC, an independent, non-profit, research think tank located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  KAPSARC’s mission is to advance the understanding of energy, economics, and the environment, while acting as a catalyst for dialogue on issues of importance to policy makers and the public.

Prior to his KAPSARC appointment, Mr. Sieminski held the James Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  CSIS is one of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions focused on defense and security, regional studies, and transnational challenges ranging from energy and trade to global development and economic integration


From June 2012 to January 2017, Mr. Sieminski served as the administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical division of the U.S. Department of Energy.  In early 2012, while awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation for the EIA appointment, was the senior director for energy and environment on the international economics staff of the U.S. National Security Council at the White House. 

From 1998 until 2012, Mr. Sieminski held various roles at Deutsche Bank, including senior equities analyst covering the U.S. integrated oil companies, oil equities strategist, and chief energy economist. Working with the bank's global research and trading units, he drew on extensive industry, government, and academic sources to analyze energy market trends and write on a variety of topics involving energy businesses, energy companies, climate change, geopolitics, and commodity prices.


Arman Kashkinbekov

Mr. Arman Kashkinbekov was born in 1977 in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

Arman studied at Karaganda State University (B.A. in Economics), Vanderbilt University (USA, Bolashak Presidential Programme, M.A. in Economics), and Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Mr. Kashkinbekov has work experience in oil&gas and mining industry: senior manager at NC KazMunayGas, deputy country manager at ConocoPhillips, executive director at KazEnergy, general manager at Rolls-Royce Energy, deputy CEO at ArcelorMittal Temirtau.

Arman also worked as president of KazInvest, head of international affairs at SWF Samruk-Kazyna, adviser to chairman of the board at NC KazAutoZhol, and director of foreign Investor’s Council chaired by the President of Kazakhstan.

Mr. Kashkinbekov speaks Kazakh, Russian, English and German.

Arman Kashkinbekov is a co-founder of Bolashak Alumni Association (2001), and awarded state medals: 25th independence anniversary of Kazakhstan, Enbek Danky, and 50th anniversary of Kazakhstan Steel Plan.

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David Knapp

Past President, IAEE

David Knapp is Senior Editor, Global Oil Markets, for Energy Intelligence Group. He is editor of Oil Market Intelligence and co-editor of the Energy Intelligence Briefing Service. He also serves as Managing Director of the Energy Intelligence Research Division. Before joining Energy Intelligence in late 2000, Dr. Knapp was a senior official with the International Energy Agency and edited of the IEA’s Monthly Oil Market Report through much of the 1990s. He has analyzed energy markets for nearly 40 years in the international, government, business and financial sectors as Energy Economist and Energy Team Leader for the prestigious Wall Street banking and investment firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in the 1980s after starting his career at the Federal Energy Administration and Chase Manhattan Bank’s Energy Economics Division. Dr. Knapp holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a member of numerous professional organizations in the energy area. Dr. Knapp is a Senior Fellow of the US Association for Energy Economics and a Board Member of the New York Energy Forum. He was awarded the IAEE 2007 Award for Excellence in Written Journalism.


Erol Metin

Independent Consultant, SEM (Sustainability, Energy & Management) Consulting

Erol Metin is a graduate of Middle East Technical University, where he has received his B.Sc & M.Sc in Metallurgical Engineer . In 1987 he has received his Ph.D in Materials Engineering in USA, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, where he has worked as Assistant Professor until 1991.

His Professional Career is with Energy & Environment Industries, where has lead & established Turkish Packaging waste recovery & recycling trust and associated establishments as Secretary General of CEVKO, a leading environment foundation, between 1991-2002.

He has served as Secretary General of Turkish Petroleum Industry Association from 2002 until 2013, where has represented the Oil Industry during the liberalization and privatization process during which a fundamental restructuring in the oil industry has taken place. He also worked with BP Turkey, as External Affairs Director, between 2013 and 2015.

Recently he has established an independent consultancy company, SEM and providing services  in the field of Energy & Environment Industries. In addition he has been teaching senior level courses in the area of Oil Markets as adjunct Professor.


Davit Narmania

Commissioner, Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission

Commissioner, Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission

Working Experience:

01/2009 – 10/2012 Executive Director, „Caucasian Institute for Economic and Social Research“ - CIESR;

10/2012 – 05/2014 Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia;

10/2012 - present Prof. of Tbilisi State University (TSU), Chair of Management and Administration Department;

08/2014 – 10/2017 Mayor of Tbilisi, Georgia;

From December 22, 2017 is the Commissioner at Georgian National Energy and Water Regulatory Commission.


Speaks English, German and Russian.

Married, with three children.


Boyko Nitzov

Team Leader for Gas Infrastructure Development within the Gas Department, Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

Dr. Boyko Nitzov is TSO Cooperation Officer, Team Leader for gas infrastructure development at the Gas Department of the European Union's Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Previously, he was the Director of Programs at the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center of the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., the Senior Expert at the Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels, and the Associate Director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Policy at Sarkeys Energy Center of the University of Oklahoma. His interest is in energy regulation, investment climate, strategic options for natural gas utilization, oil and gas field development, oil and gas pipelines, and underground natural gas storage in the U.S., Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Northeast and Southeast Asia.  Dr. Nitzov received his Ph.D. in economics in Bulgaria (1987) and continued his postgraduate studies in economics, business and entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona in 1990-1991.


Ionut Purica

Professor at Hyperion University, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Romanian Scientists, former President (State Secretary) of the Romanian Nuclear Agency

Presently a corresponding member of the Academy of Romanian Scientists (AOSR) and also a Professor teaching a course in Risk management to masters of science in the Hyperion University. He is a member of the WEC study group for energy scenarios 2050 and 2060 and a member of the Advisory Group for Energy of the EU Commission. He has been also President (State Secretary) of the Romanian Agency for Nuclear Energy and Radioactive Waste – ANDR).


Acting also as a senior researcher in the Romanian Academy’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, and Executive Director of the Advisory Center for Energy and Environment, Dr.Purica was also a counselor of the Minister of Economy and previously the Minister of the Environment and an expert for the Parliament of Romania He participated in the elaboration of the EU accession strategy for Romania and the energy (electricity and heat) strategy (for the Ministry of Economy and Trade) and did risk analysis and transaction structuring and project management with the World Bank, USEA, JBIC, MARSH, ITOCHU, MVV, etc.


Previously he worked as a project officer for energy and infrastructure in the World Bank, in Romania and the Balkans (e.g. energy Assessment in Kosovo 1999), being trained in project guarantees, value at risk, procurement to complete his expertise in engineering acquired as director for international projects of the Romanian Power Company RENEL and senior engineer managing a joint Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd-IMG-Bucharest quality engineering group for the manufacture of nuclear reactor components for the CANDU units in Romania. He worked also as an international researcher for ENEA Rome – the Italian Commission for Energy New Technology and Environment – and as an associate researcher at ICTP Trieste.


Prof.Purica has authored books in his field of expertise published by Imperial College Press, Academic Press, etc. and published articles in journals like Risk Analysis, IEEE Power Engineering Review, Foundations of Control Engineering, etc. He took his second PhD in economics, (the first one in Nuclear Energy Engineering). He is a senior member of IEEE and President of the Romanian Association for Energy Economics. He has received several awards from Romanian and foreign academies and organizations.


Vilayat Valiyev

Director of Institute for Scientific Research on Economic Reforms (ISRER), Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Vice President of IAEE for Regional Affairs

Prof. Vilayat Valiyev is a recognized leading researcher and expert on energy issues and economics.


Professional experience. Over 30 years, he has been marked by academic distinction in teaching and research in the areas of the application of uncertainty/risk analyses to resource extraction, development of optimization programs for oil and gas recovery, economic and technical analysis of rehabilitation projects in the energy sector, and analysis of laws and contractual arrangements intended to facilitate the development of both the upstream energy sector and the domestic utility industry, commercial assignments in the development of financial and management accounting systems for fuel and energy enterprises.

Dr. Valiyev has been conducting studies on a number of problems in upstream oil & gas sector, such as rational coodination of works in geological-geophysical, exploration and development phases for oil & gas fileds and condensate fields; preparation of feasibility studies for development of oil & gas and condensate fields; estimation and projection of oil & gas and condensate reserves and their extraction; development of Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) models for joint development of oil & gas reseves; study of various perspective geological, technical and economic problems and strategic decision-making in oil & gas production, etc, and has achieved important results.

In recent years, along with the above-mentioned experiences, prof. Valiyev has carried out research on expanding financial and investment capacity of enterprises, public-private partnerships, optimal tax rates, regional inequalities, identification of competitive advantages of economic sectors and products, constructing Social Accounting Matrix (SAM), Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) and macroeconometric models, while developing decision making mechanisms at various levels.

Prof. Valiyev was engaged as team leader and researcher in over 50 projects supported by UNOCAL, PENNZOIL, BP, SOCAR, World Bank (WB), EBRD, ADB, IDB, USAID, EU and other transnational corporations, international financial institutions and donors.

Publications & membership. He is author of two books and about 100 scientific and technical papers published in refereed journals and conference proceedings; and he is a member of the editorial board of the Journals, such as “Azerbaijan Oil Industry”, “Economy and Sociology” (Moldova), “Issues of information society” (Azerbaijan), “Economy and Management” (Russia); a Council Member of IAEE, an Editor-in-chief of ECO “Economic Journal”.

Academic background & degrees. In 1983 and 2004 graduated from the Baku State University, Faculties of Applied Mathematics and International Law; holds Ph.D. degree in Technical Sciences (Candidate of Sciences, 1990) and Doctor in Economic Sciences, 2007; Professor of Econometrics since 2013. 


Work experience. Since 2009, Prof. Valiyev is the Director at the Institute for Scientific Research on Economic Reforms (ISRER), Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan; and founder and president of the “Azerbaijan Energy Engineering & Consulting” LLC since 1996.


Nurali Yusifbayli

Deputy Chairman, State Agency on Alternate and Renewable Energy Sources, Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan Republic

Yusifbayli Nurali Adil, was born on 28 march 1963 in Azerbaijan Republic. In 1980 entered to Kiev Polytechnic Institute (currently Kiev Technical Academy) full time Electroenergetics faculty, in 1986 graduated from that university on "Electric Systems Cybernetics" specialty.


In 1986-1989 worked as a electrical engineer in TPP, in 1989-1993 worked as a dispatcher, head dispatcher at "Azerenergy" JSC. In 1993-2001 he continued his activity as a head dispatcher, deputy of chief engineer at "Azerenergy" JSC, in  2001-2002   worked as deputy of Head director of  "Azerenergy" JSC In 2002-2009 worked as a chief of Central Dispatch Department.

In 2009-2012 worked as a director of  "Azerenergy" JSC " Azerbaijan Scientific-Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering ".  

Since 2012 was Head Advisor of the Ministry of Economy,  Counselor of  the Minister.

Since 2015 was appointed  deputy chairman of The State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources .

Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor, author of 9 books and more than 130 scientific works.  Chief editor of International Scientific - production  "ELECTRO-energetics-tecnnics-mechanics+control"  journal.

He was given  honorary title - "CIS Honored power engineer", "Honored Engineer” and "Honored Scientist" Republic of Azerbaijan.

Since 1998, engaged in pedagogical activity. His research interests include: reliability and security of power systems, development of national and interstate power grids, SCADA, Smart Grid technology, energy efficiency and safety, renewable energy.

Married, has two children.