With over 25 years of experience in the energy arena, Richard (Rick) W. Westerdale II is currently a Senior Advisor at the Department of State. In his current role, Rick advises senior principals, including the Secretary, on the nexus of energy with U.S. national security and international energy policy priorities. Rick’s focus is on international energy affairs and their effect on U.S. business interests including governance, access to energy, increasing access to conventional energy resources, and use of alternative and renewables technologies. He represents the Department in a variety of senior-level engagements, including bilateral and multilateral fora, and carries out official visits to advance international engagement, forge cooperation with partner-nations and establish agreements on a range of energy related initiatives. Rick also leads engagement with other agencies within the U.S. government.
Prior to his current assignment, Rick was the inaugural Director of the Energy Resources Bureau’s Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy Office. Before coming to Washington, Rick was responsible for providing expert commercial & technical advice, guidance, and leadership in the oil and gas sector with a specialization in Energy at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Previously, with both Westerdale Holdings and GM Ryan International, Rick was responsible for new business development and identifying a suite of strategic growth opportunities; then implementing an aggressive strategy for pursuit and capture. This extended beyond traditional business development that is focused on project / program development and included the development of human capital.
During his tenure with ExxonMobil, Rick last worked within a small staff group that reported directly to the Chairman & CEO. Prior to that, he lived overseas, in the Middle East and Australia, and held multiple senior level positions. He gained extensive commercial and marketing experience by working with host governments and stewarding multi-cultural engagements. While in Abu Dhabi, his duties included initiation of commercial strategies, coordination of internal resources, and development of proposals that included competitive tender submissions as well as direct negotiations. While in Australia, Rick was responsible for overseeing marketing efforts into the Asia Pacific and developed the company’s first equity marketing strategy for LNG. Rick also managed and stewarded non-operator interests within multiple Joint Ventures.
Additionally, Rick has held a variety of positions in ExxonMobil’s downstream business which included Business Unit Manager, Support & Controls Manager, Operations Manager and Engineering Supervisor. These assignments provided both managerial and leadership experience including P/L responsibility, staff development and managerial oversight. Rick’s early assignments were primarily engineering related with construction, maintenance and environmental emphasis. Subsequent sales assignments broadened his knowledge of the industry and marketing, including retail sales.
A native of Winchester, Kentucky, Westerdale received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1991. Rick is a US Army veteran, honorably discharged, and served during the first Gulf War. He was awarded the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel” for service to his state and community that same year. Rick earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Averett College in 1994. He is also a registered Professional Engineer. Rick is married and lives in Northern Virginia where he and his family are active in the local community.