Lydia Beebe, a dedicated Jayhawk with a juris doctor and a bachelor’s in journalism from KU, has a long history as a business leader. She joined the Chevron Corporation upon graduation from KU Law School in 1977 and rose through the ranks to become one of its leaders and the first woman officer. She was elected corporate secretary, serving in that capacity until her retirement from Chevron in 2015. She was also appointed Chief Governance Officer and managed the Corporate Governance Department. Following her tenure at Chevron, she served as Senior of Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Beebe currently serves as director on two corporate boards, Kansas City Southern and Aemetis Inc. In addition, she is the Co-Director of the Stanford Institutional Investors' Forum and Chair of the board of directors of the Northern California Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. She continues to advise boards of directors on corporate governance matters.
Beebe has been widely recognized for her significant contributions, a few of which will be highlighted here. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Board of Directors of the Presidio in San Francisco. In addition, she served as a Commissioner and Chair of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission and as a member of the Presidio Trust Board. In recognition of her outstanding leadership and accomplishments, she was honored by the state of California as a Civil Rights Hero in 2009.
Beebe has been a champion for women in her profession, working to create conditions to advance women, including those with children, in the corporate community and in the law profession. She has served on the governing boards of the International Women's Forum of Northern California and the Professional Business Women of California. She received lifetime achievement awards from both the Professional Business Women of California and Corporate Secretary magazine. Also, she received the Founder's Award for exceptional business leadership from the Women's Initiative and the Breakthrough Award from the Professional Business Women of California. Every year from 1999 through 2007, the San Francisco Business Times recognized her as one of the most influential businesswomen in the Bay Area.
Beebe has contributed numerous volunteer hours in support of KU, serving on the governing boards of the KU Endowment Association and the KU Law Alumni, establishing with her siblings the Louise Ahlstadt Beebe and Jack E. Beebe Law Library Fund at KU in memory of their parents. Beebe is described as a “uniquely important leader” for the KU Law School and has received the Law School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Nominators said of Beebe, “Lydia became a powerful leader and role model for women, rising to become a top officer and manager in one of the world’s largest corporations. She opened doors for many other women to follow… ”