Charles O. Holliday Jr.
Charles O. Holliday Jr.
Chair, National Academy of Engineering
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Biography

 

Charles O. Holliday, Jr., was born on March 9, 1948 in Nashville, Tennessee. He received a B.S. degree in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1970 and he is a licensed professional engineer (PE).

Mr. Holliday has served as chairman of the board of directors of Bank of America since April 2010, and as a director since September 2009. He is the former chairman of the board of directors of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., a position he held from 1999 to 2009. He served as chief executive officer of DuPont from 1998 to 2008. Mr. Holliday joined DuPont in 1970 as an engineer and held various positions throughout his tenure of more than 30 years. During the 1970s and 1980s he worked in nearly every branch of the company, serving as a business analyst for the fibers operations, director of marketing for pigments and chemicals, and global business director of Kevlar and Nomex. In 1990 he was named vice president and then president of DuPont’s Asia Pacific operations. He became senior vice president in 1992 and executive vice president and a member of the Office of Chief Executive in 1995. Fortune Magazine named Mr. Holliday one of “Tomorrow’s CEO’s” in 1996 and he was elected director and then president of DuPont the next year.

Under Mr. Holliday’s direction, DuPont established the mission to achieve sustainable growth – increasing shareholder and societal value while decreasing the company’s environmental footprint. The company has a three-part strategy: deliver new products through the power of integrated science, vigorously pursue knowledge intensity in all businesses, and significantly increase productivity by using Six Sigma methodology. The businesses are grouped into five growth platforms: Agriculture & Nutrition, Coatings & Color Technologies, Electronic & Communication Technologies, Performance Materials, and Safety & Protection.

Mr. Holliday was elected to the NAE in 2004 for his leadership in DuPont’s transformation to sustainable growth through biotechnology, high-performance materials, improved safety, and consumer protection. He recently chaired the NRC Committee on Research Universities, and is a member of the Presidents’ Circle. He has served as a member on the NRC Committee on America’s Climate Choices; the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology; and the Roundtable on Scientific Communication and National Security.

Mr. Holliday is a director of the Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and a presiding director of Deere & Company. He is chairman emeritus of Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business; and chairman emeritus of the US Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to ensure US prosperity. Mr. Holliday is a founding member of the International Business Council. He also previously served as chairman of the following organizations: the Business Roundtable’s Task Force for Environment, Technology and Economy, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Business Council, and the Society of Chemical Industry–American Section. He served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, and he is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Mr. Holliday coauthored a book, Walking the Talk, detailing the business case for sustainable development and corporate responsibility. He has received several honorary doctorates.

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