Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Names Chief Recovery Officer

September 14, 2017 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today appointed former Shell Oil Co. Chairman and President Marvin E. Odum to the new position of chief recovery officer for Houston as the city uses the Hurricane Harvey floods as an opportunity to make more improvements.

The mayor said he will look to Odum to recommend bold moves that position Houston to prosper further and be ready for the next storm.

“I’m asking Marvin to get us out of our comfort zone,” the mayor said.

Odum, who will serve without salary from the city, has been a global leader in the oil and gas and power generation industries and has extensive experience in large-scale crisis management.

“With all the resources we have in Houston for ingenuity, problem-solving and public-private partnership, it’s a natural step for me to reach outside City Hall to a business leader eager to assist us with our recovery from unprecedented flooding,” Mayor Turner said. “And Marvin E. Odum is the right person for the job, in light all of his accomplishments in dealing through the energy industry with governments far and wide; with business adversity such as the huge hit that Hurricane Katrina put on the oil and gas sector; and with his extensive ties to many Houston individuals and groups.”
Odum will work on the mayor’s behalf with governments at all levels, private and non-profit organizations, interest groups and individuals, as well the mayor’s staff and city department heads, on a two-fold mission: Ensure a rapid, quality recovery from Hurricane Harvey and position the city to be less vulnerable to the next record-breaking storm.

“You should look to us for what I call world-class coordination,” Odum said.

He and the mayor put no time limit on his service. But Odum, who led Shell’s business recovery after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said he realizes that “speed counts.”

U.S. leaders “know how to learn” from the damage wreaked by Katrina, the more recent Hurricane Sandy in the northeast and now Harvey, Odum added.

Odum served as a member of the Royal Dutch Shell executive committee, chairman of the Shell Canada Ltd., director of the Americans for Shell Gas & Power of the United Kingdom; board chairman of the Aera Energy board and executive committee member of the American Petroleum Institute. In various leadership roles at Shell, he advanced the company’s diversity goals for employment; and set the company’s strategies for safety, security and environmental issues.

He has been a National Urban League Board member since 2015, a World Business Council for Sustainable Development executive committee member since 2012, a Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government dean’s council member since 2005; a Council on Foreign Relations member since 2014, and a University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering Advisory Board member since 2008.