The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced that Debra M. Phillips will join API as vice president of Global Industry Services (GIS), which is responsible for certification, standards-setting, training, events, publications and safety programs for onshore, offshore and refinery operations. Phillips will join API on October 1st from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where she serves as vice president of Sustainability and Market Outreach.
“The safety and reliability of our operations are the cornerstone of our industry,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers. “We’re thrilled to welcome Debra to API, where she’ll continue to broaden our innovative safety and operational services to new markets around the world while maintaining the highest ethical practices that have made API the industry gold standard.”
Phillips will lead a team of more than 100 safety and engineering professionals in Beijing, Dubai, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Houston, and Washington, D.C. She will oversee the natural gas and oil industry’s standards development and suite of programs that enable the industry to innovate and manufacture superior products consistently, provide critical services, ensure fairness in the marketplace for businesses and consumers alike, and promote the acceptance of products and practices globally.
“It’s an exciting time to join API and a privilege to lead the team of dedicated and talented professionals working to ensure the safety and quality of the industry’s operations around the world every day,” said Phillips. “In the months and years ahead, GIS will continue to broaden the availability of world class programs and services tailored to meet companies’ needs for today’s marketplace.”
Prior to joining API, Phillips served on the leadership team at the American Chemistry Council for nearly two decades. Phillips managed ACC’s Responsible Care® initiative—the association’s mandatory environmental, health, safety, and security performance program implemented by its member companies. In recent years, she was the catalyst behind the chemical industry’s sustainability strategy, developed through her leadership of a CEO Taskforce established in 2016. She also initiated ACC’s value chain outreach initiative in 2013, leading to strategic relationships with members of the chemicals value chain to advance science and sustainability-based decision-making surrounding chemical selection and use in building and construction, retail and personal care applications.
Phillips has served as the global Secretariat for the International Council of Chemical Association’s Responsible Care Leadership Group, which sets and carries out the programmatic direction of the global initiative within its more than 60 participating economies. Phillips previously worked as an environment, health, and safety professional in both the chemical and pulp and paper industries. She holds a master’s degree in environmental toxicology from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in biology from Albright College.
Today there are more than 700 industry safety and technical standards covering all segments of the natural gas and oil industry. These standards are the most widely cited by international regulators across the globe. Domestically, API standards are cited in state regulations more than 4,000 times and incorporated in the Code of Federal Regulations more than 430 times. The natural gas and oil industry looks to API standards and certification programs to enhance overall operational safety, assure quality, increase organizational efficiencies, and maintain a level of consistency in the marketplace.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8% of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms.