Class of 2018
Elizabeth Matthews is an experienced business executive with significant expertise working in an international/cross-cultural setting. She currently serves as Deputy US Country Chair and Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for French oil major Total, S.A.’s (Total) companies in the United States. Total is a global energy company headquartered in Paris, France and focused on the exploration and production, trading and shipping, and refining and marketing of oil and gas. Total also produces solar and biofuel energy, batteries, and adhesives. Ms. Matthews is a member of the executive team of Total’s US affiliate and is responsible for the company’s strategic direction and management. She is responsible for the company’s legal and ethics functions and (along with the Country Chair) manages all US-wide shared services functions such as security, communications and IT.
Ms. Matthews’ experience includes oversight of business transactions and acquisitions and divestitures, as well as joint venture operations. She recently led the legal support for the company’s $1.7 billion dollar petrochemical joint venture / major capital project. Key achievements related to this project included obtaining all required antitrust approvals, as well as environmental and regulatory permitting, negotiating key agreements for both the JV and major capital project, and handling the HR/labor issues related to the creation of a new company.
Prior to joining the company, Ms. Matthews worked for over 11 years at Chevron, including for Chevron’s Downstream and Upstream businesses, as well as for the corporate headquarters. She also served in a general counsel role for Chevron’s Energy Technology Company. Early in her career, Ms. Matthews worked at nationally known law firms in Washington, D.C. and clerked for a federal district court judge in Philadelphia. She is a cum laude graduate of Yale University and received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1995.
Ms. Matthews has experience leading significant non-profit boards. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Houston Women’s Energy Network, the Board of the Texas General Counsel Forum (Houston Chapter), the Board of the Harvard Law School Association of Houston, and as President and Board Member of the Total US Women’s Network. She is past President and former Board member of the Women’s Energy Network and National Charity League (Texas Sage Chapter). She also is a former member of the Board Facilities Committee of St. John’s School.
Ms. Matthews is a widely recognized leader. She has been honored as a “Breakthrough Woman” by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a “Woman on the Move” by Texas Executive Women, as Best Corporate Counsel (medium-sized law department) by the Houston Business Journal, and as a “Magna Stella” awardee for best general counsel of a small law department by the Texas General Counsel Forum.
She also is a leader in diversity. She has been awarded the Women’s Energy Network (Appalachia Chapter) “Trailblazer Award,” which recognizes a woman who has been a model of leadership and vision in the energy industry for more than fifteen years. She also has been named as “Woman of the Month” by the Women’s Energy Network and as a Houston “Top 50 General Counsel” leader in diversity by the National Diversity Council.