Riley P. Bechtel, MBA '77, JD '79
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Director
Bechtel Group Inc.
Riley Bechtel is chairman, CEO, and a director of Bechtel Group Inc., a global engineer-constructor.
Mr. Bechtel joined the company in 1966, working summers in field construction and other jobs while attending school. He graduated from UC Davis in 1974 with a BA in political science and psychology. After receiving a combined JD/MBA from Stanford University in 1979, he joined the law firm of Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges.
Rejoining Bechtel in 1981, he became a 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. He then moved to New Zealand, where he served as deputy field manager on the Gas-to-Gasoline project. 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, division technical manager in 1986, and division general manager in late 1986. He was named a director of Bechtel in August 1987 and EVP three months later. In March 1989, he was elected president and COO of Bechtel, became president and CEO in June 1990, and chairman and CEO in January 1996.
Mr. Bechtel is a director of Fremont Group and a member of Ocean Exploration Trust’s Board of Trustees. He is a member of the American Society of Corporate Executives, the Business Council, the Business Roundtable, National Petroleum Council, UC Davis Board of Advisors, Indian School of Business Governing Board, and the Conservation Fund Corporate Council. He is an honorary fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary lifetime member of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
He was a director of the Conservation Fund; a trustee of the Jason Foundation for Education; a director of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; a member of J.P. Morgan’s International Council; a member of the President’s Export Council; a member of Stanford Law School Dean’s Advisory Council; a member of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality; a member of the National Forum on Nonpoint Source Pollution; and a trustee of the Thacher School, Ojai, California.
He is married to the former Susan Elizabeth Peters and they have three grown children: Brendan, Darren, and Katherine.