2006 Industry Pioneers


Archie DunhamArchie W. Dunham

Born in 1938, Archie Dunham was raised in Oklahoma. He was a distinguished graduate of the University of Oklahoma earning a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering. After graduation, he served his country in the United Stated Marine Corps before returning to his alma mater for his MBA. Finishing at the top of his class, Dunham was aggressively recruited by several leading companies, and decided to join Conoco, reporting to its Houston office in 1966. 

Over the next 30 years, Dunham rose through the ranks at Conoco. He was elected president and CEO in 1996, and was instrumental in orchestrating the separation of Conoco from its then parent, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. In 2002, after his election to Chairman and CEO of Conoco, Dunham engineered the merger of Conoco and Phillips Petroleum. The new company, of which he retained the title of Chairman, is the fifth largest corporation in the US. Dunham retired in 2004. 

Early in his distinguished career, Dunham recognized the potential of offshore, and steered his company to a strong position as one of the world’s leading developers and producers of offshore hydrocarbon resources. Numerous honorary doctorates and awards attest to his business and civic leadership, and his counsel is sought on national and local boards, including the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure.