Appointment of Cornelius Matthes as CEO of Dii Desert Energy (formerly Desertec Industrial Initiative) per January 1st, 2021

We are happy to announce that Mr. Cornelius Matthes has been appointed as CEO of Dii Desert Energy, a highly effective industry initiative and public/private sector think tank for the energy transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Cornelius has a remarkable track record as a leading investor and voice in the energy and banking industry. After a fast-track career in Deutsche Bank, rising up to board level of the group in Italy, he became one of the first members of Dii’s management team in 2010. He has, among others, built up Dii’s impressive international network of industries and other cooperation partners with a footprint in MENA. To date over 50 industrial partners, developers and investors from 25 countries are part of this group. In his new function, Cornelius and the Dii team will continue shaping Dii’s upgraded ‘Desertec3.0’ program. This includes paving the way for MENA countries to become a ‘Green Power House’ for the benefit of their own citizens and, eventually, supplying energy markets globally with green energy, such as electrical power and hydrogen-based molecules.

Paul van Son, President of Dii Desert Energy: “With the appointment of Cornelius as my successor in Dii Desert Energy we have ensured the best imaginable top manager for the job. Stakeholders in the region and globally can, thus, rely on continued passion and tangible achievements in the next phase of the energy transition”.

Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power: “I thank Paul van Son for his visionary leadership of Dii, from the outset steering this industry network to propagate the compelling value proposition of not just renewable energy and of trading across borders broadening interconnected networks, but now also embracing green hydrogen.

I congratulate and welcome Cornelius on taking up the challenge as his successor.  Cornelius has been a very committed colleague of Paul at Dii Desert Energy, sharing the mission with his indefatigable energy. He has our full confidence in his ability to build on this solid foundation to ensure that Dii thrives as a value adding think tank contributing to shaping the energy transition”.