Bank of America Women's Leadership Series


Energy Executives on the Importance of STEM Education

WLS Energy and STEM

Many of tomorrow's best-paying careers will require training or education in a STEM discipline. Research shows that nearly 20 percent of all current U.S. jobs require STEM skills, and projections estimate that STEM jobs will grow about 9 percent over the next few years.

Houston is best known as the "Energy Capital of the World," which gives rise to the need for talented individuals to work in STEM fields. There is also a strong need for women to be more engaged in STEM careers and empower the next generation to be leaders in industries which have historically had a male majority.

Join Asia Society Texas Center for an enlightening conversation with energy executives on the importance of STEM education; leadership roles, challenges, and opportunities in pursuing career paths; and how STEM education empowers the next generation of women leaders.


Thursday, February 7, 2019
6 p.m. | Reception
7 p.m. | Program

About the Speakers

Jennifer Chan

Jennifer Chan is head of Planning and Business Development for ExxonMobil Chemical Company. In this role, she is currently leading the company’s culture transformation effort in addition to overseeing mergers and acquisitions, financial planning, and strategy development. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992/1993. She joined Exxon in 1993 at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant in Louisiana, and has since worked in a variety of planning, marketing, supply, and manufacturing positions, including Singapore Chemical Plant technical manager and Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant site manager. She has lived in Texas, London and Singapore, and has worked in ExxonMobil’s gas & power and refining & supply companies in addition to the chemical company. Jennifer is a long-standing active member of the Chemical Women’s Leadership Team which strives to grow and retain female talent across all levels and functions of ExxonMobil Chemical Company through visible female leadership. She is also an active mentor in ExxonMobil’s Women’s Interest Network, and serves on the board of advisors of ExxonMobil’s employee veterans’ advocacy support organization.

Paula Harris

Paula Harris is a 30-year executive with Schlumberger and she currently holds the title of Director, Global Stewardship. Paula has received numerous recognitions, including being named Black Engineer’s “50 who make a Difference,” “Key Women in Energy,” “Greater Houston Women’s Chamber-Woman of Distinction,” and the “Women of Color in Technology” award. She has been appointed to the Theater Under the Stars (TUTS) board, Space Center Houston Board, Petroleum Club of Houston Board, and the Menil Development Board. Paula was elected to the Houston Independent School District Board of Education in 2007 and also served as board president; the district was recognized twice by the White House under her leadership. Paula has been instrumental in implementing robotics and coding clubs throughout the region including in Houston ISD, Fort Bend ISD, and City of Houston after-school programs. Paula’s first book is For Sister: The Guide for Professional Black Women, which was published in 2003. Paula’s latest book is a children’s book entitled When I Grow UP, I Want to Be an Engineer. This book has been translated into 4 languages and over 100,000 copies of this popular book have been distributed by the Houston Children’s Museum, the Offshore Energy Museum, the San Jacinto Council of Girl Scouts, Houston ISD, Ft Bend ISD, Alvin ISD, and Jack and Jill of America. Paula is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Petroleum Engineering and a Master’s in Education Emerging Technology.

Janet Kong

Dr. Janet Kong is the CEO, BP Integrated Supply and Trading, Global Oil – Americas, for BP’s oil trading and supply business headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Global Oil Americas reliably delivers energy supplies around the world, while offering financial services that help customers guard against fluctuations in energy prices. Dr. Kong’s team works with a wide range of companies, as well as other BP businesses, to buy, sell and transport commodities such as natural gas, natural gas liquids, power, crude oil, chemicals, sulphur and refined products. Dr. Kong joined BP in 2013 as the head of market analysis in global oil eastern hemisphere (GOEH) before her appointment as CEO, GOEH for Integrated Supply & Trading, overseeing BPs supply and trading business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. In addition to previous roles as managing director at China International Capital Corp and managing director of global commodities at Goldman Sachs, Asia, Dr. Kong has also worked for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC as a country economist. Dr. Kong holds both a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from Georgetown University and has written papers and publications for the IMF, the World Bank and HKMA.

Liz Schwarze

Liz Schwarze assumed the role of vice president of Global Exploration for Chevron Upstream in April 2018 and is responsible for the company’s worldwide exploration program. Liz joined Chevron in 1990 as a development geologist in the Gulf of Mexico and has held positions of increasing responsibility in exploration, reservoir management, finance and business planning. She has worked on projects in Venezuela and Angola as well as the San Joaquin Valley and Permian Basin areas of the United States. Recent roles have included general manager of Exploration for Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company, based in Houston; general manager of Exploration for Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Company, based in Singapore; and division manager of Exploration and Reservoir Characterization Services for Chevron’s Energy Technology Company, also in Houston. Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Duke University, a master’s degree in geology from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in business administration from Tulane University. She is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

About the Moderator

Niloufar Molavi

Niloufar Molavi leads PwC’s Global and U.S. Energy practice serving Global energy clients in the oil and gas industry. She is responsible for all client services – assurance, advisory, and tax. From 2011 to 2016, she served as the Greater Houston Market Managing Partner for the Greater Houston Market. From 2009 to 2011, she served on PwC’s leadership team as the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she oversaw the firm's diversity strategy, and all of its related programs and initiatives. With 25 years of tax experience with PwC, Niloufar has served a wide range of energy companies both in the U.S. and abroad, advising clients on international and U.S. tax structuring, mergers, acquisitions, and potential public offerings. Niloufar earned her bachelor's degree in Accounting as well as a master's degree in Professional Accounting with a concentration in Taxation from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the McCombs School of Business and Accounting Advisory Council at the University of Texas. She serves as the Chair of the board of Dress for Success Houston and Awty International School. She also serves on the non-profit boards of the Alley Theatre, Central Houston, ALPFA, and the Greater Houston Partnership.

About the Women's Leadership Series

The Bank of America Women's Leadership Series (WLS) celebrates influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.

Previous programs:

Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Kicks Off 2018-2019 Season with Celebrated Female Asian Chefs
Asia Society Concludes 2017-2018 Women's Leadership Series with Women in Fashion Evening
Technology Trailblazers on the Business of Innovation
Third Year of Women’s Leadership Series Begins with Medical Innovators
Former UK First Lady Leads Dialogue on Women’s Education
Social Innovator Shares Her Story and Passion for Creating a More Secure Future
Women's Leadership Panel Addresses Female Representation in the C-Suite
Former Secretary of Labor Credits "Strong Families, Education, and Hard Work" for Success
Local Leaders Share Personal and Professional Successes at Inaugural Women's Leadership Program

The Women's Leadership Series Steering committee is chaired by Mandy Kao and Y. Ping Sun. Members include Nancy C. Allen, Lisa Barksdale, Dr. Anne Chao, Kathy Goossen, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Dr. Michelle Herrera, Brigitte Kalai, Shirley Kwan, Sultana Mangalji, Davana Petree and Vani Rao.

Title Sponsor 

Bank of America Logo



Presenting Sponsors 

Exxon Guinee Tiffany

Lead Sponsors 

BP Cathay Eagle VinsonElkins

Nancy C. Allen
Susan Boggio
Anne and Albert Chao
Brigitte Kalai
Mandy and William Kao
Additional Support

Amegy Blue Sky Pioneer Bank

Kathy and Marty Goossen
Dr. Yasmine Haddad
Dr. Michelle Herrera
Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron
Sultana and Moez Mangalji
Sahana and Kishore Sundararajan

Special Friends

Cindy Chan + Manli Cai
Cooking Girl Restaurant l Crown Dental l Fane Well School l The Goddard School, Sugar Land
Shaobo Du + Kathy Pang
Betty Gee + Tammy Su
Tiffany Le
Gina Li
Dr. Alice Mao
Diana Sun
Priscilla Zhu

Event Details

Thu 07 Feb 2019
6 - 8:30 p.m.

1370 Southmore Boulevard

Houston, Texas 77004


Buy Tickets
$25 Members, $35 Nonmembers
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