UM Chemical Engineering Alumna Named Chairman, President of BP America

Susan Dio assumes leadership position May 1

Susan Dio, a University of Mississippi chemical engineering alumna, is the new CEO of BP America Inc. Submitted photo

As of May 1, the new head of BP America Inc. will be a University of Mississippi chemical engineering alumna.

Susan Dio has been appointed BP America’s chairman and president, making her BP’s chief representative in the United States. She will succeed John Mingé, who will move to chair a National Petroleum Council study of carbon capture utilization and storage technologies. Mingé will retire from BP in March 2019.

“It will be a great honor to represent BP in the U.S., which is home to some of our most important operations anywhere in the world,” Dio said. “I look forward to telling our story and meeting with BP employees all across the country.”

A fellow alumna remembers Dio as an excellent role model who set the bar high and helped other female chemical engineering graduates from UM who were looking to begin their careers in the oil and gas industry.

“I was a freshman her senior year and have very clear memories of her sitting at the (Delta Gamma sorority house) dining room table studying late into the night,” said Lisa Wadlington, global manager of chemical sales at Chevron Oronite Co. in Houston, Texas. “I would ask her what her future career plans were, which professors to avoid and all the usual questions.”

As it turns out, her interactions with Dio had a significant impact on Wadlington’s career.

“Susan worked offshore as a roustabout one summer for Mobil Oil, and my dream was to do the same,” Wadlington said. “When I expressed to Susan my goal, she provided me with the name of her contact, and he hired me. To this day, that summer is one of my favorite work experiences.”

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said, “Susan’s breadth of operational and commercial experience gained with BP around the world — including leading our global shipping business, running a major refinery and managing a chemical plant — make her ideally suited for the key role of representing BP in the U.S. The U.S is a vital part of BP — we have invested more than $100 billion here since 2005. All our businesses, from exploration to refining to renewable energies, operate at scale in the U.S., and together they make up the largest portfolio of businesses we have anywhere in the world.”

A chemical engineer by training, Dio became chief executive of BP Shipping in 2015, with responsibility for moving 200 million tons of oil, gas and products around the world each year. Responding to the demands of a changing energy marketplace, she reset the organization’s strategy and oversaw the recent renewal of the BP fleet, including the commissioning and delivery of 26 highly efficient new tankers.

Over the course of her 33-year career with BP and heritage companies, Dio also has held senior commercial and operating roles in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

“The engineering education I received at Ole Miss served as the foundation of my career,” Dio said. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had — including the opportunity to mentor many of BP’s future leaders — and I can’t wait to join the team at BP America.”