During the past three decades, petroleum engineer Ali Moshiri (BS ’76, MS ’78) has been the catalyst for a productive friendship between The University of Tulsa and his long-time employer, Chevron Corporation.
Through the University Partnership Program, Chevron has generously contributed to scholarships, student organizations and department grants in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Since 2014, Chevron has invested in the college and gifted $1 million to establish the Chevron Learning Center as part of an ongoing, multiphase renovation project in Keplinger Hall. An additional significant donation was awarded to TU in 2015 for creation of the Chevron Multicultural Center, which supports mentoring and training for students and families of diverse and marginalized backgrounds. Beyond campus involvement and financial support for current students, Chevron invests in the lives and careers of graduates. More than 120 TU alumni currently are employed at Chevron, many of whom studied petroleum, chemical or mechanical engineering.
Moshiri was hired by Chevron in 1978 as a TU student and began his distinguished career as a reservoir engineer. He advanced at Chevron, serving in a myriad of leadership roles such as senior production engineer in the Gulf of Mexico, manager of technical applications and production activities in the North Sea, and petroleum engineering supervisor for Chevron Overseas Company. Moshiri, who has provided worldwide operational support, new opportunity assessments and operational feasibility analysis for Chevron projects, was a general manager and adviser to the vice chairman of the board for Chevron Corporation Exploration and Production. His appointment to managing director of Chevron Latin America Exploration and Production in 2001 expanded his responsibilities to upstream operations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. For the past nine years, he has served as president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company. Moshiri’s career focus has evolved from the engineering discipline to business, a trend he said is common in today’s global oil and gas industry.
“You have to have a very strong technology background and understanding of business before you can move into leadership,” he said.
Moshiri’s area of responsibility includes 16 countries with dynamic political and economic landscapes.
“Latin America and Africa are the primary regions for exploration, and they continue to be successful,” Moshiri said.
His Tulsa connections and outstanding Chevron career are effective recruiting tools for young TU alumni. Moshiri visits the university regularly to discuss industry trends and technology as well as to listen to new ideas on how to improve the industry. He said students, domestic and international, are a source of talent for the field.
“That’s one of the best days I have – when I get to sit down with professors and students,” he said. “I enjoy our university, its accomplishments and the ways I get to interact with people.”
With Chevron interests abroad, Moshiri said a global workforce is critical to efficient production, and TU’s potential hires fit the job description. Several graduates have become Chevron executives within the past decade, and Moshiri is proud of TU’s growing relationship with the company.
“We’re not looking at just one area,” he said. “It requires students from different areas of the world who can take their knowledge and technology back to their home country to ensure the success of our industry. Chevron is dependent on education and TU’s talent and abilities.”
After 39 years with Chevron, Moshiri plans to retire April 1, 2017, but his involvement at TU and in oil and gas production is far from over. He plans to serve as an advocate for the industry, spending additional time with TU colleagues and encouraging students to seek careers in petroleum engineering.
“TU has been a major contributor of skilled employees, and I hope to continue that momentum,” Moshiri said. “My advice is to be patient, because the industry is recovering. We need to be ready to fill the skills required when new jobs enter the market.”
Mark Hatfield (BS ’82), Chevron vice president of the Greater Gulf of Mexico Business Unit, will replace Moshiri as executive liaison for TU.