The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Donald Paul joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in January 2009 as the Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute and William M. Keck Professor of Energy Resources.
The USC Energy Institute supports university-wide research, education, workforce development, and commercialization initiatives with industry and governments in the Digital Transformation and Transition of the energy industry. Major programs include digital oilfields, smart power grids, cyber-physical security for critical energy infrastructures, industrial digital transformation, and the transition of oil and gas operations to a low-carbon environment.
Dr. Paul had a distinguished 33-year career with the Chevron Corporation, retiring in June 2008 as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. During his career, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in research and technology, exploration and production operations, and executive management, including appointment as the president of Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary. He also served as the senior compliance officer for Chevron’s global HSE and cyber-security functions. During his tenure as CTO, Dr. Paul initiated Chevron’s technology venture capital subsidiary and cyber-security organization.
Dr. Paul also serves as a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. and since 2010 has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to serve as an academic member of the National Petroleum Council. He has served on advisory boards at major universities, governments and national laboratories, oil and gas companies, power utilities, and technology companies. He is frequently recruited to speak at national and international forums on the future of energy and energy security, the cyber-security of energy systems, intelligent energy infrastructures, petroleum economics, and energy education.
Specific industry recognition includes the World Oil Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Charles F. Rand Gold Medal for energy industry management in 2020; the SPE Western Region Health, Safety, and Environmental Award in 2018; the SPE Distinguished Member Award in 2017; the SPE International Management and Information Award in 2011; an Honorary Doctorate in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 2009; and the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008.
On 28 February, 2019, Dr. Paul was elected to the Board of Directors of Barry Petroleum Company, LLC.
He holds B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from MIT.