Khalid A. Al-Falih took office as president and chief executive officer of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on January 1, 2009. With 55,000 employees, Saudi Aramco is an integrated global petroleum company and the leading industrial enterprise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Under Al-Falih’s leadership, the company manages the world's largest proven oil reserves, and is the world’s largest producer exporter of crude oil, a major natural gas producer, and a leading player in the global refining sector.
A veteran of Saudi Aramco for his entire career, which spans three decades, Al-Falih has served in key leadership positions across the organization and has driven continued expansion of the company’s business portfolio into new areas of operations. As executive vice president for Operations from 2007 through 2008, he oversaw all of the company’s core operations, including the business lines for Exploration and Producing; Refining, Marketing, and International; Operations Services; and Engineering and Project Management. He has also previously served as the senior vice president of Gas Operations and Industrial Relations, and as president of Petron Corporation, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Philippine National Oil Company in which Saudi Aramco held an equity stake. As a leader in the company’s corporate planning team, Al-Falih guided the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first natural gas strategy, and later played the leading role in negotiations with international oil companies engaged in the Kingdom's natural gas initiative. When the company formed its New Business Development organization in 2003, Al-Falih was appointed as its first head. In that role, he led the development of world-scale refining and petrochemical integration projects with leading global chemical enterprises. He has also served as chairman of the South Rub‘ al-Khali joint venture between Shell, Total and Saudi Aramco.
Al-Falih was named to the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors in 2004. He also serves on the Saudi Arabian Supreme Council of Petroleum and Mineral Affairs, chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Al-Falih earned his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1982. In 1991, he received his MBA from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He received an honorary doctorate from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology in May 2011. His membership in professional societies includes the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), and the Oxford Energy Policy Club.
He is a well-known advocate for higher education in Saudi Arabia. Since 2008, he has served as a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). An international, graduate-level research university that opened in 2009, KAUST focuses on research that applies science and technology to resolve global challenges and advance economic and social development. Under Al-Falih’s direction, Saudi Aramco spearheaded construction of the university’s physical campus and organizational development, and for his role in the development of KAUST, he was presented the King Abdulaziz Order of the Excellent Class Award by King Abdullah at KAUST’s inauguration in September 2009. The company continues to support KAUST's economic development mission through partnership in its Industrial Collaboration Program. Al-Falih also continues to oversee Saudi Aramco’s partnerships with KFUPM, where he serves as a member of the university’s International Advisory Board. He is a member of the Asia Business Council and J.P. Morgan International Council.
Al-Falih is active in many social programs, and previously served as chairman of the Dammam City Municipal Council. His board memberships in other community-focused organizations include the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Fund for Supporting Small Business Projects for Women, and the Eastern Province Society for the Handicapped.