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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Riley Bechtel

  • portrait of Riley Bechtel
    Former Chairman and CEO, Bechtel Group, Inc.

Riley P. Bechtel serves as a non-executive director of Bechtel Group, Inc. He was the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the company.

Mr. Bechtel joined Bechtel in 1966, working summers in various field construction and other jobs while attending school. After receiving a combined JD and MBA degree from Stanford University’s School of Law and Graduate School of Business, he joined the law firm of Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges, where he worked on matters for Bechtel and other clients.

Rejoining Bechtel in 1981, he became contract coordinator and then piping superintendent at the Belle River Power Plant in Michigan.

Two years later, he served as area superintendent at the Badak LNG Plant in Indonesia, with full responsibility for all construction activity in one of the two process areas of the plant.

During 1984, he worked as general field superintendent on the New Zealand Gas-to-Gasoline project, directing and organizing field construction activities, including operations, safety, and procurement.

In early 1985, Mr. Bechtel moved to London, where he served as a business development representative, pursuing projects in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Africa. He became assistant manager of operations for the London Division in late 1985 and division technical manager in early 1986. Later that year, he was named managing director of Bechtel Limited.

He was named a director of Bechtel Group, Inc. in August 1987 and executive vice president three months later.

In March 1989, he was elected president and chief operating officer of Bechtel Group, Inc. He became president and chief executive officer in June 1990, and chairman and chief executive officer in January 1996. In February 2014, Mr. Bechtel stepped down as Bechtel’s chief executive officer and continued to serve as chairman of its board. In April 2017, he retired as chairman of the board, but remains active as a non-executive director.

Mr. Bechtel received a bachelor's degree in political science and psychology from the University of California at Davis. He was admitted to the California State Bar in November 1979, and is a member of the American and California Bar Associations (Inactive).

Mr. Bechtel is a director of Fremont Investors, Inc. and a member of Fremont Group’s Board of Advisors. He is a member of the Conservation Fund's Corporate Council, and The Thacher School Board of Trustees. He is an associate member of the American Society of Corporate Executives.

Academies and professional societies

Mr. Bechtel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Lifetime member of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

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