Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, a member of Leadership 100, addressed the Business Forum at the 21st Annual Leadership 100 Conference, telling some 350 attendees that business and social responsibility go hand and hand. He was presented with the distinguished Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence.
Charles H. Cotros, the newly-elected Chairman of Leadership 100, introduced Liveris and reviewed his 35-year Dow career, culminating in his membership of Dow's Board of Directors and rise to CEO in 2004 and election as Chairman of the Board in 2006. He also cited his service on the Board of Directors of IBM, as President and Chairman of the Board of the International Council of Chemical Associations, Vice Chairman of the Business Council, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable, and his recent appointment by U.S. President Barack Obama as Co-Chair of the newly formed Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
Liveris began his address with reference to the importance of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in giving him the “wonderful tradition of family values and ethics” through the Hellenic ideals of his grandparents and parents. He said the unique gifts of individualism, freedom and democracy that Greece has bequeathed to the world should make Greeks everywhere “stand tall and be proud despite what the media reports about current events in the homeland.”
He described the challenge of leadership as bringing together such values – “doing good”- with pragmatic concerns such as doing well financially in business and in bringing science-based solutions to benefit humankind, citing the exponential growth of world population to 7 billion where 1 billion still go hungry. With projections of growth to 2 billion more in coming decades, he said we are faced with daunting challenges to create food supply, sufficient energy and consumer goods as more people enter the middle class.
Liveris used the example of the Dow Chemical Company that realized energy efficiencies that contributed to the environment while bringing greater profit to shareholders that if followed by the USA would mean not importing one barrel of oil. He said it is now mandatory not to look at the short-term but the long-term and that business and government and non-governmental organization and science now must work together, emphasizing that his personal and business experience taught him that “it is possible to align human interest with public interest.”
“New leadership is now required of every CEO,” he said, adding that he was fortunate to succeed William S. Stavropoulos as CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, who as a Greek American had a grasp of history and who had introduced him to Leadership 100. He said the future will require going beyond philanthropy to social responsibility in which leadership includes ethics that can bring both social and economic benefit to everyone.
Following his address, Liveris gave a press conference in which he addressed the economic, social and cultural challenges in both Greece and the USA saying they came down to the viability of institutions and bonding for a common purpose in which new leadership had to present hope in giving a picture of what binds a nation together.
Last July, Liveris launched Dow's Advanced Manufacturing Plan for America (AMP). AMP calls for action on a number of fronts to lower structural costs that are hindering U.S. manufacturing, and to establish a policy framework that will enable economic growth. In January 2011, Liveris published Make It In America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy
, which articulates AMP in detail.
Born in Darwin, Australia, Liveris attended the University of Queensland in Brisbane, graduating with a bachelor's degree (first-class honors) in Chemical Engineering, and was awarded the University Medal for that year. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in science by his alma mater and was named Alumnus of the Year. He was appointed Inaugural Chair of The University of Queensland in America Foundation in 2011. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of The Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
Liveris resides in Midland, Michigan with his wife Paula. They have three adult children.