Bill Arnold became Professor in the Practice of Energy Management at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in 2009. He teaches graduate-level courses on “the Geopolitics of Energy” and “Managing Energy Transitions” totaling more than 200 graduate students in 2014. He introduced an annual two-day International Energy Simulation for 70 students. From 2011-2014 he was the faculty leader for study trips to 5 countries in South America. He advises student leaders of the annual Rice Energy Finance Summit, which he helped initiate in 2009, and the Energy Club. He supports the Executive Education, Admissions, and External Relations offices in the Jones School. He coordinated the Norton Rose Fulbright Energy Directors’ Conferences at Rice from 2010-2013. He revitalized the energy concentration and was faculty liaison to the Energy Committee of the Council of Overseers.
Serving the broader Rice community he is a founding member of the executive committee of Rice University’s Energy & Environment Initiative, a founding member of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, a member of the Operating Committee of the Shell Center for Sustainability, and served on the President’s Lecture Series. He was the first faculty member to lead the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee for the Rice Endowment. He has supported the Professional Science Masters’ energy initiative and classroom programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Bill is an active participant in programs of the James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy. At the Rice Graduation in 2013 he was named the Outstanding Faculty Associate of Martel College.
Bill actively engages with professionals in academia and industry from around the world including the Vienna University Global Energy MBA which met on the Rice campus in 2014, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, INALDE Business School in Bogota, the Aspen Institute Energy Conferences, and the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man. His articles on energy issues have been published in journals from South America to Turkey, and he has been interviewed frequently by local and international media. He lectures annually at Windsor Castle and advises the House of Lords in London on strategic energy issues including Arctic exploration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico crisis, and the shale “revolution” in the U.S.
He was among 13 leaders selected by the National Research Council of the National Academies to Review the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays International Education Programs. The Committee’s 395 page report of recommendations was published by the National Academies Press in 2007.
He is a member of the Energy Advisory Committee of Lloyds’ Register, the 254-year old British company. Lloyds’ Register Foundation provides four scholarships annually to Rice University,
Previously, as Royal Dutch Shell's Washington Director of International Government Relations and Senior Counsel for the Middle East, Latin America, and North Africa, he engaged at the highest levels of government in the US and abroad to provide geopolitical insights, develop business strategies, build scenarios, and advance multi-billion dollar projects. He was with Shell from 1993 to 2009.
Bill held a White House appointment as Senior Vice President of the Export Import Bank of the United States from 1983 to 1988, when he received the Distinguished Service Medal. He was Eximbank’s liaison officer to the Berne Union, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. He developed special export credit packages for Brazil and Mexico during the first Latin American debt crisis. He was Chairman of the Board of the Foreign Credit Insurance Association, a joint venture of Eximbank and large private insurance companies.
He served on the boards of the Middle East Institute, American Turkish Council, US-Libya Business Council, US-Azerbaijan Business Council, and Asia Society (Houston Center). In addition he represented Shell in the Council on Foreign Relations, Council of the Americas, Institute of the Americas, US-Russia Business Council, National Committee on US-China Relations, and Corporate Council on Africa.
His international banking experience includes: Executive Vice President/International Banking Division of First City National Bank-Houston (now JPMorganChase); General Manager, Banco do Commercio e Industria de Sao Paulo - COMIND (now Banco do Brasil); and Vice President/Manager of the Latin America Division of Texas Commerce Bancshares (now JPMorganChase). He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) whose stock is owned by commercial banks, industrial companies, and financial services companies.
In the Houston community he has served on the boards of directors of the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, American Red Cross, and UT Health Sciences Center.
While in his early 20s he was founding Field Director of Amigos de las Americas, a private international development organization that has provided service opportunities for more than 25,000 volunteers in many of the poorest communities throughout Latin America. Over the years he served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the International Board and a director of the Foundation for Amigos de las Americas.
Bill earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Cornell University where he was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society; a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT. He previously served on the advisory boards of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, the Center for International Business Studies at Texas A&M University, and the University of St. Thomas.
A soldier from 1970-72, he served at Site R, was awarded the US Army Commendation Medal, and was Soldier of the Month in the Theatre Army Support Command, Europe.
He served as a Lead Advance Representative for George H. W. Bush during his 1980 Presidential primary campaigns. He later undertook periodic advance assignments when Mr. Bush was Vice President and President of the United States, including organizing a summit meeting with President Salinas of Mexico. Bill was an early supporter of Governor Jeb Bush when he first ran for office.
His pastimes include fly-fishing, swimming, skiing, reading, as well as sports photography for the Rice Rugby team. His wife, Cathy, is a retired banker and civic leader. Their daughter, Elizabeth is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in the Global Capital Markets Group, wife of Rich Dennis, and mom of Cate, William, and Ellen.