T. Boone Pickens
Industry experience: Pickens, founder and chairman, BP Capital Management, is principally responsible for the formulation of the energy futures investment strategy of the BP Capital Commodity Fund and the BP Capital Equity Fund. With more than $4 billion under management, BP Capital manages one of the nation’s most successful energy-oriented investment funds. Pickens frequently utilizes his wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry in the evaluation of potential equity investments and energy sector themes. He has not been shy in predicting oil and gas prices and — more often than not — has been uncanny accurate. As a result, he is a frequent guest on some of the nation’s most-watched business programs (CNBC has coined him the ―Oracle of Oil‖). In July 2008, Pickens launched an ambitious, self-funded grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing this country’s crippling dependence on imported oil. In television ads, on his PickensPlan website, and in personal appearances, he spelled out how our dependence on foreign is an addiction that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security, and ties our hands as a nation and a people. He has spent the time since spelling out how this country can drag itself out of this quagmire, if it acts quickly and reasonably. His new book, The First Billion is the Hardest, also details what this country must do to win back its energy independence. Pickens is also aggressively pursuing a wide range of other business interests, from water marketing, wind power and ranch development initiatives to Clean Energy, a company he founded. Through Mesa Water, Pickens is the largest private holder of permitted groundwater rights in the United States. Mesa Power is planning the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle. Clean Energy, which went public in 2007, is advancing the use of natural gas as a cleaner-burning and more cost-effective transportation fuel alternative to gasoline and diesel. Pickens was founder of Mesa Petroleum in its various forms beginning in 1956. Mr. Pickens’ career at Mesa spanned four decades. Under his leadership, Mesa grew to become one of the largest and most well known independent exploration and production companies in the United States; Mesa produced more than 3 trillion cubic feet of gas and 150 million barrels of oil from 1964 to 1996.
Educational Background and Associations: Pickens earned a degree in geology from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) in 1951. His many educational associations and honors include Honorary Doctorate of Science Oklahoma State University (2002); Honorary Doctorate of Public Service awarded by George Washington University (1988); Francis Marion College awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities
(1988); Distinguished Lecturer – Emory University School of Business (1987); Doctor of Laws conferred by Barry University, Miami Florida (1986); Named Distinguished Fellow of the College of Arts & Sciences at Oklahoma State University (1982); Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award from Oklahoma State University (1982); Distinguished Alumni Award from Oklahoma State University (1982); Distinguished Fellow Award from Oklahoma State University (1980).
Professional and Industry Associations: During his long and distinguished career, Pickens has served on numerous boards and industry associations, including as a board member for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. (2007), ca board trustee of the Cooper Aerobics Center (1989 to 1993), chairman of the board of visitors (1983, 1984), and a member of the Board of Visitors (1977 to 1986), MD Anderson Cancer Center, and as life member and chairman (1984, 1985) of the Texas Research League. He also was a member of the All-American Wildcatters Association (1976) and served on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Petroleum Council (1971). Throughout his career, Pickens championed a new era of corporate accountability and is credited with making corporate managements more responsive to the interests of their shareholders. To further this, in 1986, Pickens founded the non-profit United Shareholders Association to help shareholders and inform them of corporate abuses.
Civic Interests: Throughout his professional life, Pickens has been a generous philanthropist, giving away more than $600 million. Pickens, who formed the T. Boone Pickens Foundation in late 2006, contributed $200 million to a wide range of causes in 2007. He has appeared multiple times on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of top U.S. philanthropists. The Pickens Foundation is focused on improving lives through grants supporting educational programs, medical research, athletics and corporate wellness, at-risk youths, the entrepreneurial process and conservation and wildlife initiatives. In the past, Pickens has awarded more than $250 million to Oklahoma State University; $50 million each to two University of Texas health care institutions, the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; $10 million to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to underwrite the Air Force One Pavilion; $6 million to the American Red Cross for hurricane disaster relief operations; and $3 million to the Oklahoma Heritage Association. He has also made million-dollar-plus contributions to a wide-range of medical research institutions and treatment centers, including the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. To recognize his sizable donations, the Stillwater-based Oklahoma State University renamed its football stadium Boone Pickens Stadium in 2003 and dedicated the T. Boone Pickens School of Geology in 1989. Pickens has served on many committees and boards, including American Red Cross Chairman’s Advisory Board (2005) and as National Campaign for a Drug Free America adviser (1989). Among his other civic honors, he has earned the Key to the City of Dallas (1989), Bill Clements’ Man of the Year (1989), and recognition of support from Ronald McDonald House of Amarillo, St. Anthony’s Hospital, and the Harrington Cancer Center.