Req Number: 24CSOE
Location: Houston, Texas
Posted: 12/20/2022
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose more than 124,800 members in 134 countries are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production. SPE acts as a key resource for technical knowledge providing opportunities to exchange information at in-person and online events and training courses, publications, and other resources. SPE maintains offices in Houston, Dallas, London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Calgary.

SPE began as a constituent society of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME) in 1957, becoming a separately incorporated organization in 1985. AIME was founded in 1871 with the goal to advance the production of metal, minerals, and energy resources through the application of engineering. An Oil and Gas committee was created in 1913, which evolved into the Petroleum Division of AIME after the petroleum membership of the organization significantly increased and interest was more clearly delineated among the mining, metallurgical, and petroleum specializations, forming the Society of Petroleum Engineers. In the 1990s, SPE became more culturally diverse as the growth of international divisions increased and it expanded its technological outreach with the introduction of international forums and the launch of Today the organization continues its constant search for new ways to meet member needs in all phases of their careers in all parts of the world.

• Purpose: SPE provides unparalleled insights, shared expertise, life-long learning, and community strength to fuel the success of their members and the future of the industry.
• Mission: To collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.
• Vision: Advance the oil and gas community’s ability to meet the world’s energy demands in a safe, environmentally responsible, and sustainable manner.
• Core Values: Technical excellence; Thinking globally (OneSPE); Providing value to members; Volunteerism; Stewardship for the long-term.
• Strategic Plan: SPE’s strategic plan has identified four goals to advance the society towards their vision over the next 3-5 years: Life-long Learning; Knowledge Transfer; Membership; and Professional Pride. The plan was developed in 2018 and is currently being reviewed and updated. 
• Primary Technical Disciplines: SPE organizes many of its activities along eight major technical disciplines: Completions; Data Science and Engineering Analytics; Drilling; Health, Safety, and Environment; Management; Production and Operations; Projects, Facilities and Construction; and Reservoir.
• Membership: More than 124,000 members in 134 countries participate in 203 sections and 417 student chapters. SPE’s membership includes 66,020 professional members and 58,818 student members. Student dues are $15 per year (covered in part by sponsorship). Professional members pay dues ranging from $20/year to $110/year depending on their country of residence.
• Conferences and Exhibitions: SPE sponsors more than 110 conferences, exhibitions, forums and workshops each year. The technical programs are presented and created by SPE members and industry professionals.
• Resources:, SPE Publications, SPE Technical Reports, SPE Connect,, OnePetro, PetroWiki, SPE EnergyStream.
• Governing Body: Board of Directors including three presidents, 11 regional directors, and six technical directors. These volunteers serve in 3-year staggered terms. Board Committees include audit; finance; technical content; member and engagement. The CEO serves as Secretary on the Board.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the development and growth of SPE as a global organization in both the short-term and long-run, as directed by the SPE Board of Directors. The CEO supports the Board in building and executing strategy, deepening strategic partnerships and relationships within the energy industry and promotes SPE as the voice of engineers within the oil and gas industry. Therefore, a core focus for the next CEO will be to continue to grow the reach of the organizations through events and membership, as well as to effectively represent SPE’s stakeholders as the industry evolves towards lower carbon and net zero.

The CEO has eight direct reports who manage a staff of 250+ full-time employees in six SPE offices in Houston, Dallas, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Calgary. SPE’s FY2023 (which ends 3/31/23) budget is approximately $40.2 MM, and the Society currently has ~$30 MM in reserve. There is an expectation of substantial travel to meet the needs of the role and the organization (Estimated time is 30-50% travel, of which 20% is domestic travel and 80% is international travel).

Specifically, the CEO is responsible for the following:

Strategy Development
• Provides forward-thinking leadership that supports the development and execution of organizational strategy.
• In conjunction with the Board of Directors, articulates the vision for SPE and recommends and implements strategic plans that will achieve the plan’s goals.
• Ensures the SPE provides a strong value-proposition and remains relevant to current and prospective members globally.
• Positions the organization to thrive in the context of external conditions.
• Identifies new opportunities and/or challenges and recommends action to the Board of Directors as appropriate.
• Supports the staff in the development, implementation, monitoring, and adjustment of strategic, financial, and business plans.

• Collaborates with the Board of Directors on matters of governance, mission, vision, and strategy.
• Serves as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Board and the Executive Committee.
• Supports the President, President-Elect, other officers, committees, and volunteers to develop Board meeting content and agendas, leadership orientation, and governance development activities.
• Proactively assists the Board of Directors in identifying key emerging issues and implementing future direction as established by the Board.
• Develops, implements, and is accountable for the Society’s annual budget and operating plan.
• Provides regular communications to the SPE Board, keeping them informed of key activities, as well as the overall operational and financial health of SPE.

• Sets the organizational values and business culture for SPE and ensures that all staff and volunteers live the values.
• Directs the operational activities of the Society ensuring that the organization is capably staffed and effectively organized to meet the set goals.
• Leads and continues to develop the organization’s staff team, inspiring and empowering them in their roles. Cultivates cross-division collaboration and fosters a culture of integrity, diversity, social responsibility, teamwork, transparency, and results.
• Ensures the SPE maintains key infrastructure and technological capabilities to serve the members and effectively implement the strategic plan.
• Reports financial results to the Board of Directors and along with CFO ensures that recordkeeping and internal controls meet the requirements of auditors and government agencies in all locations where SPE operates.
• Reports and develops plans to manage business risk issues to the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors
• Maintains an understanding of legal issues in the management of non-profit organizations and ensures legal compliance and appropriate risk management.
• Maximizes operational efficiency in all areas, with a focus on meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations with respect to all programs promoted and delivered by SPE

Influence and Relationship Building
• Promotes visibility of the Society within the oil and gas industry globally and with key stakeholders including educational establishments, thought leaders, and other stakeholder organizations.
• In collaboration with the Board of Directors and identified volunteer leaders, develops key messages to the membership and other stakeholders globally.
• Engages with the members to understand their needs, maximize engagement, and enhance member satisfaction.
• Leads efforts to create new alliances, partnerships, and collaborations, particularly with relevant organizations globally.
• Cultivates relationships with other key stakeholders and other associations and organizations who share a common set of objectives globally.


Specific experience and qualifications will include the following:

• 10+ years of progressive executive leadership experience for a major association, company, or a division within a large corporation.
• Experience overseeing the development and implementation of an organization’s strategic plan. Strong analytical skills with a capability of analyzing and articulating complex and strategic issues and their potential impacts for decision-making for staff, Board members and key business partners.
• Skilled leader with a record of developing, mentoring, and managing staff performance and fostering an entrepreneurial customer-focused team. Capacity to delegate, empower, and distribute decision-making effectively and effectively build and manage a diverse global leadership team. Demonstrable experience of effectively leading people and organizations through change and transformation.
• Board relations and governance experience desirable.
• Global business experience and/or outlook, including an ability to work effectively with diverse cultures.
• A future leaning perspective on how the digital world is evolving and implications for SPE. An ability to anticipate, discern, and act on industry signals and trends.
• Knowledge of managing large scale events and technical publications a plus.
• Strong financial and business acumen to ensure the long-term fiscal health and sustainability of the SPE.
• Reputation for integrity and sound judgement, upholding high ethical standards.
• Strong emotional intelligence, with an ability to forge consensus and lead with compassion and empathy.
• A strong entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to translate new opportunities into measurable results.
• Self-aware and authentic with the confidence and maturity to navigate and succeed in a multifaceted global organization which values diverse perspectives.
• Outstanding written, oral, and presentation communication skills. A relationship builder.
• Experience working with the oil and gas industry is advantageous, as SPE operates in an industry that requires specialized knowledge.

Bachelor’s degree required. Master's degree in relevant discipline and/or in engineering or equivalent business experience a plus.

A competitive compensation package will be provided to attract outstanding candidates.

Note: Proof of Covid Vaccine required.

Society of Petroleum Engineers is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome diversity in our workforce and encourage all qualified applicants to apply.

Lorraine Lavet
Senior Client Partner
(703) 919-6540

John Mensah
+44 755 285 6814

Sophie Carr
(484) 425-1607

Emily Lynch
Senior Project Coordinator
(703) 498-7227


Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.





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