This past year has been a big one at Oil Change International. Our work continues to grow and we’ve spent part of this year making sure we have a world-class staff doing everything possible to bring about the just and equitable world free from fossil fuels we all know is necessary.

After a thorough search process we are excited to announce Mahir Ilgaz as our new Regional Programs Director and Mariam Kemple Hardy as our new Global Campaigns Director. We are also excited to announce Lopa Pal, who joined us earlier this year, as our new Development Director.

Mahir Ilgaz, our new Regional Programs Director, will be joining the team on October 24th.

Mahir has been an avid climate and energy transition proponent for nearly twenty years. He started out as an EU policy expert, specializing in energy, climate, and environmental policies. Mahir has held many different positions over a long career in climate and energy transition advocacy, working for the last 10 years at He has a diverse set of skills in various aspects of campaigning, organizing, communications, research design, policy analysis, grant writing and grant making. Mahir also has significant experience managing multiple regional and project teams from diverse backgrounds. His current areas of interest include just energy transition, climate finance, and international collaboration vs. competition. He enjoys teamwork and collaboration and thrives in challenging situations. Mahir lives on the Aegean coast of Turkey, together with his partner and two kids.

Mariam Kemple Hardy, our new Global Campaigns Director, will be joining the team on November 21st.

Mariam joins Oil Change International from UK based charity Refugee Action, where she spent 6 years working as Head of Campaigns. While there, she built an award-winning campaigning team and led large-scale coalition campaigns. Having engaged with environmental and climate issues as causes of humanitarian crisis and forced migration, Mariam is now keen to dedicate her 15 years of campaigning experience to fighting full-time for climate justice. Prior to Refugee Action, Mariam worked as Head of Humanitarian Campaigning at Oxfam International led a global team supporting grassroots organizations to advocate for peace in Sudan and South Sudan at Crisis Action. She has also worked at Mind, developing mental health services policy and running national campaigns on numerous issues, including access to psychological therapies. Before this, she worked at Help the Aged (now Age UK) and was involved in the award-winning Just Equal Treatment campaign that led to the outlawing of age discrimination in the UK. Mariam is a Trustee of Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, and has previously been a Trustee of the Woman’s Trust, an organization providing free counseling to women affected by domestic violence in London. She is also a Leaders Plus Fellow.

Lopa Pal, our new Development Director, joined the team this past June.

Lopa has been bringing her relationship-building skills to progressive organizations for two decades. Prior to joining OCI, she was the Development Manager at Breast Cancer Action, a health justice non-profit. No stranger to climate issues, she also spent ten years raising funds for the San Francisco Bay Area organization, Greenbelt Alliance. Lopa believes in the power of grassroots, mission based fundraising that is based on building strong relationships and is pleased to bring those values and skills to OCI.

Welcome to the team!