API has awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement, to John S. Watson, former Chief Executive of Chevron Corporation. The Gold Medal has been awarded each year since 1946 when it was first given to Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company. The award recognizes exceptional leadership and service to the natural gas and oil industry, their community, and the nation.
“John Watson’s exemplary vision and leadership of the Chevron corporation has helped usher in a new era of U.S. energy leadership and innovation throughout the natural gas and oil industry, and has earned him API’s highest honor,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers. “Watson’s steadfast commitment to advancing a culture of safety, diversity and inclusion for Chevron’s 45,000 employees is a model for our industry.”
For nearly four decades, Watson served as a leader of his company and the industry – beginning in 1980 as an analyst, through the Chevron-Texaco merger, and continuing throughout his tenure as the chairman and chief executive officer from 2010 until his retirement in 2018. He served on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Business Council, American Society of Corporate Executives and the American Petroleum Institute. He was also a member of the U.S. Business Roundtable and the National Petroleum Council.
“Watson’s leadership within the industry—including his service on API’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee—helped advance the essential role of natural gas and oil in meeting the world’s energy needs and enabling environmental progress,” Sommers said.
Watson’s contributions extend beyond Chevron’s walls—supporting the nation’s education system to raise the bar for the next generation of innovators. His service as Chair of the University of California, Davis Chancellor’s Board of Advisors, and support for programs that foster youth in science, technology, engineering and math, has left a mark on society and opened doors for future leaders within and beyond the industry.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry.