William M. Arnold

Professor in the Practice of Energy Management

Bill Arnold became Professor in the Practice of Energy Management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business in 2009. He teaches graduate-level courses on “Geopolitics of Energy” and related energy courses and simulations. From 2011-2014 he led MBA study trips to 4 countries in South America. He advises the student leaders of the annual Rice Energy Finance Summit and the Energy Club.

He participates in The Aspen Institute Energy Conferences, lectures annually at Windsor Castle, and advises the House of Lords in London on strategic energy issues. 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 has been a member of the Windsor Energy International Advisory Panel since 2009 and served on the Energy Advisory Committee of Lloyds’ Register, the 255 year-old British company, from 2013-2016.

Bill was 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 for 16 years.

Bill held a White House appointment as Senior Vice President of the Export Import Bank of the United States from 1983 to 1988. He was Eximbank’s liaison officer to the Berne Union, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. He was Chairman of the Board of the Foreign Credit Insurance Association.

His international banking experience included First City National Bank-Houston, Banco do Commercio e Industria de Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Texas Commerce Bank.

In the Houston community he has served on the boards of directors of the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Asia Society, American Red Cross, and UT Health Sciences Center.

Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Cornell University; a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and an MBA from UT-Austin. He served on the advisory boards of the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT-Austin, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the Center for International Business Studies at Texas A&M University, and the University of St. Thomas.

While in his early 20s he was founding Field Director of Amigos de las Americas, the private international development organization that has trained more than 25,000 volunteers for service projects in many of the poorest communities throughout Latin America. He later served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the International Board of Directors. Amigos celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

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 5th Replacement Battalion, Europe.

He served as a Lead Advance Representative for George H. W. Bush Reagan during the 1980 Presidential primaries in Iowa and Florida. He later undertook occasional advance work when Mr. Bush became Vice President and President of the United States, including organizing a summit meeting with President Salinas of Mexico. He was an early supporter of Governor Jeb Bush, with whom he worked at Texas Commerce, and campaigned for him in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.

His pastimes include fly-fishing, cycling, swimming, skiing, reading, music, and sports photography for the Rice Rugby team.

His wife, Cathy, was a leading commercial real estate lender in Houston with Comerica, First City, and Texas Commerce banks, as well as in Washington, D.C. with Riggs National Bank. Their daughter, Elizabeth Dennis, is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in NY. She and her husband, Richard, have 3 children.

Teaching Interests: 

-Geopolitics of energy
-Intersection of energy security with national security
-Perspectives of energy exporting and importing countries