Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today announced that Jim Owens, Chairman and CEO of Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc., is the recipient of its prestigious 2007 World Trade Award. Owens officially received the award last night at the NFTC’s 93rd Annual World Trade Dinner and Award Ceremony at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
“Jim is one of the U.S. business community’s leading voices in the trade arena, and has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to advocating for the expansion of an open, rules-based global trading system,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “Throughout his tenure at Caterpillar, Jim has led countless initiatives to build bridges between the private and public sectors on issues of global commerce. We are pleased to honor his tireless service.”
The NFTC’s World Trade Award recognizes members of the business community who are respected for proven lifetime leadership in building consensus and promoting the benefits of open trade and investment. The first World Trade Award was presented in 1937.
Owens, who became Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar in February 2004, held numerous management positions after joining the company in 1972. Owens was named chief economist of Caterpillar Overseas S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland in 1975. From 1980 until 1987 he held managerial positions in Peoria in the Accounting and Product Source Planning Departments. In 1987 he became managing director of P.T. Natra Raya, Caterpillar’s joint venture in Indonesia. He held that position until 1990, when he was elected a corporate vice president and named president of Solar Turbines Incorporated, a Caterpillar subsidiary in San Diego. In 1993 he came to Peoria as vice president and chief financial officer with administrative responsibility for the Corporate Services Division.
In 1995, Owens was named a group president and member of Caterpillar’s Executive Office. Over the next eight years as a group president, Owens was at various times responsible for 13 of the company’s 25 divisions. In December 2003, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named Owens vice chairman and appointed him chairman and chief executive officer effective February 1, 2004.
In addition to his membership in the NFTC, Owens is a director of the Institute for International Economics; Chairman of the International Trade and Investment Task Force of The Business Roundtable; and a member of The Business Council and Manufacturing Council in Washington, DC. He is also a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Global Advisory Council to The Conference Board in New York.
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in