Liveris to Chair Prestigious U.S. Business Council

1 Jan 2014

The University of Queensland warmly congratulates Dr Andrew Liveris, distinguished UQ alumnus and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), on his elevation to the chair of the United States Business Council, one of the world's most prestigious organisations that represents a select group of chief executive officers of leading private sector businesses from commerce and industry.

Dr Liveris is the first Australian, and the first non-American chair of the Council, elected for a two-year term beginning January 2013.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj AC said that the career of Andrew Liveris had been phenomenal.

“His election to Chairman of The Business Council is very suitable recognition for the role Andrew has played in both his professional life, and as a man who cares deeply about the world's future," Professor Høj said.

“Andrew has chosen to partner closely with UQ for some years, partly because he is a proud alumnus who gained much from his studies, and because he recognises UQ is a highly globally connected University that, like him, wants to leverage research in areas like sustainability and energy to solve global concerns,” he said.

The U.S. Business Council, founded in 1933, is a voluntary association of global leaders who meet for the free exchange of ideas among themselves and with thought leaders from many sectors. Membership is personal, not corporate, and by invitation only. The Council provides advisory functions to the United States government and promotes learning, best practice sharing and networking by its members, with a view to making a contribution to society, the global economy and to business generally. It never takes positions as an organisation and does not advocate any policy or course of action.

Dr Liveris is Chairman and CEO of Dow, a $60 billion diversified industry-leading global specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics business, based in Midland, Michigan, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of US$60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide.

Dow and UQ have a strong history of collaboration. A further groundbreaking partnership began in March 2012, bringing together cutting edge research expertise in energy, water and sustainability with world-class science and engineering education. The collaboration will result in the establishment of the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, funded through a Dow contribution worth $10 million over the next six years, to foster innovation at the urban energy, water and carbon nexus.

The first research collaboration was signed in 2007 with the University's Australian Institute of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology (AIBN), to investigate bio-mimicry and a systems biotechnology approach to improving productivity and decreasing cost of natural pesticides. The strategic partnership was extended in 2010 with a second research alliance agreement signed between Dow and AIBN for three further years with the company contributing approximately $1.74million to allow AIBN to conduct research on sustainable sources for chemicals, new-generation circuitry for electronics and improved energy storage systems.

Born in Darwin, Dr Liveris attended The University of Queensland, graduating with a bachelor's degree (first-class honors) and a University Medal for merit in Chemical Engineering. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in science by UQ, as well as being named Alumnus of the Year in 2005 and currently serves as the President of UQ in America. Dr Liveris joined Dow in 1976 in Australia, and his career has spanned roles in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management including a significant period in the Asia Pacific region. He has been a member of Dow's Board of Directors since February 2004, and was named CEO in November 2004. In addition to his role at Dow, Dr Liveris is a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Business Roundtable, the U.S. President's Export Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, The Peterson Institute for International Economics, the American Australian Association, and a trustee of Tufts University. He was previously vice-chairman of The Business Council.

Most recently Dr Liveris served as Co-Chair of President Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness. He is keen to see Australia engage more closely with this kind of manufacturing and understand how it can help the economy and productivity, as he outlined in a recent address to the National Press Club