American University of Beirut

Ray R. Irani

Dr. Irani graduated from AUB at the age of 18 with a degree in chemistry; he then earned a PhD in chemistry in 1957 in the United States, launching his career as a scientific researcher. By 1983, he had firmly established himself in the oil and gas industry. He quickly rose to assume the presidency of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, later serving as Chairman and CEO for over twenty years, and then as Executive Chairman. Under his leadership, Occidental grew to be the fourth largest oil and gas company in the U.S. with 40,000 employees worldwide. Irani has published over fifty technical papers, and holds 150 U.S. and foreign patents. Among his many honors, he was awarded the National Order of the Cedar Medal by the President of the Republic of Lebanon in 1996, was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 2011, and he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012. Irani was elected to the AUB Board of Trustees in 1986, served as co-chair, and was granted emeritus status this year.

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