James Y. Chao ’74

Chairman of the Board, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Texas

James Chao is chairman of the board of directors of Westlake Chemical Corporation, an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers, and fabricated products. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Mr. Chao is also director and past chairman of Suzhou Huasu Plastics Co. Ltd. in China.

Mr. Chao has over 40 years of global experience in the petrochemical and downstream industries. He has been involved in many “first-of-its-kind” and grassroots developments in the North American and Asian petrochemical and polymer industries. Mr. Chao, along with his brother, Albert Chao ’72, assisted their father, Ting Tsung Chao, in founding Westlake Chemical Corporation and Titan Chemicals Corporation Bhd. in Malaysia. Prior to assuming the chairmanship of Westlake in 2004 from his father, he served as Westlake’s vice chairman from 1996 to 2004 and as president from its inception in 1985 to 1996. He served as Titan’s managing director from its inception in 1988 to 2003, and as its executive chairman and director from 2003 to the end of 2010 when Titan was divested. Prior to that, Mr. Chao served as special assistant to the chairman of China General Plastics Group and has held management positions with several international companies, including Mattel, Inc., Development Bank of Singapore, Singapore Gulf Plastics Pte. Ltd., and Gulf Oil Chemicals.

Mr. Chao’s civic and community service includes serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Baylor College of Medicine, the Board of Trustees for KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), Houston, and the Advisory Board of the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia Business School. Mr. Chao received his bachelor of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia Business School.