Board of Directors
Rich A. Wells
Over the course of his 37-year career with The Dow Chemical Company, Rich Wells has held leadership roles in a wide range of areas, including Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (M&E), Business Leadership, EH&S (Environment, Health and Safety), Energy and Climate Change, and Public Policy.
Wells, a member of the Dow Operations Leadership Team, was named Vice President of U.S. Gulf Coast Operations and Site Director of Texas Operations in 2017. He is responsible for 10 advanced manufacturing sites, the Texas Innovation Center (a state-of-the-art R&D campus) and the Houston Dow Center (a strategic engineering and business hub).
As the Site Director for Dow Texas Operations, he leads one of the largest integrated petrochemical manufacturing sites in the world. The site employs more than 8,000 people, producing products that are used in industrial and consumer applications including food packaging, health care, automobiles, construction and electronics. He is also President and CEO of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and he sits on the UCC Board of Directors.
Wells joined Dow in 1982 after accepting an M&E role in Freeport, Texas. From 1992 to 1998, he served as a Production Leader in the Epoxy Products and Intermediates Business. Wells was named Global Director of Hydrocarbons and Energy Supply Chain in 1998 and relocated to Terneuzen, the Netherlands. In 2001, he returned to the United States to assist with the integration of Dow's newly-acquired subsidiary, Union Carbide, and assumed the added responsibility of Business EH&S Director. Wells was named Business Vice President of the Chlor-Alkali Business in August 2004, and added responsibility for Dow's Chlorinated Organics Business in February 2006.
In 2007, he was named Dow's Vice President for Energy, Climate Change and Alternative Feedstocks, having responsibility for the generation, management and procurement of Dow's energy requirements. In this position, Wells also played a key role in the formation of Dow's energy advocacy strategy and was the leader of Dow's climate change policy efforts. This led to his assignment as Vice President for Global Government Affairs and Public Policy in 2009, where he was responsible for overseeing comprehensive advocacy strategies in each of Dow's major geographies, as well as issue management and public policy development at the corporate level. Wells returned to M&E when he was named Vice President and Site Director for Michigan Operations in 2011.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Wells is also an active contributor to the success of the communities in which Dow operates. Wells is a board member of the Texas Chemical Council, the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, FIRST in Texas, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County. He previously served on the boards of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Midland Tomorrow and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance.
Wells graduated with highest honors from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, and was named an outstanding recent graduate of his alma mater in 1992. In 2014, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni from SDSM&T. He currently serves as a member of the school's Academic Advisory Board. Wells has also completed an executive leadership program at Babson University and the H.H. Dow Academy.
A native of Minnesota, Wells resides in Lake Jackson, Texas with his wife Trudy. They have two sons, Zachery, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and Andrew, a mechanical engineering student at Michigan Tech. Wells is an avid runner having completed multiple marathons, and also enjoys reading and keeping abreast of current political events.