Israel Phiri is a graduate civil engineer from the University of Zambia, and did his postgraduate studies in hydropower planning and development at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology. He started his working career in 1983 with the Lusaka City Council, and worked on various infrastructure projects in the provision of services such as roads and drainage, water supply and sanitation, and later worked as director of works for the Kalulushi Municipal Council during 1990.
He later joined ZESCO Ltd in 1991 as planning engineer, rising through ranks to chief civil engineer. During this time, he participated in design and construction of substations, transmission lines and feasibility studies for hydropower and transmission lines projects in Zambia.
In 2000, Israel was seconded to the Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPPI) in the ministry of energy and water development as chief engineer for generation projects, where he worked until April 2013. The OPPPI was set up as a one-stop-shop for private investors seeking to participate in Zambia’s electricity sector.
He has also provided services as national consultant on renewable energy-based electricity generation for isolated mini grids in Zambia. He has been actively involved in pre-investment activities, including project packaging and seeking financing for candidate hydropower and transmission lines projects. He retired from public service in April 2013 and is now an independent consultant, and director of Power Consult (Z) Ltd.
Israel was co-opted to the IHA Board in December 2005 and elected to the Board in October 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.