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James Owens

Jim Owens served as chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. inPeoria,Illinoisfrom 2004 through June 2010. Owens was named chairman and CEO of Caterpillar in 2004 after spending his entire career at the company.  In his first five years, 2004 to 2008, Caterpillar’s revenue grew from $22.8 billion to $51.3 billion setting sales and profit records every year.  Despite the global economic recession, Caterpillar maintained profitability throughout 2009 and recovered smartly in 2010. Owens retired in mid-2010 after 38 years of service, starting with his first job as corporate economist and including international assignments inGeneva,Switzerlandand Jakarta,Indonesia.  He was president of Solar Turbines inSan Diegofrom 1990-93 and corporate CFO from 1993-95. In 1995 he became a group president and member of Caterpillar’s executive office.  While chairman Owens served on the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable, was chairman of the Business Council and an advisor to Presidents Bush and Obama.    

Owens is currently a director of Alcoa Inc. inPittsburgh,Pennsylvania, IBM Corporation in Armonk, New York, and Morgan Stanley in New York City.  He also serves as a senior advisor to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. inNew York.  Owens is chairman of the Executive Committee for the Peterson Institute for International Economics in WashingtonD.C. and a director of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Business Council and was a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, 2009-10.  He is also a member of the board of trustees for North Carolina State University in Raleigh,North Carolina.

Owens is a native of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and graduated from North Carolina State University in 1973 with a Ph.D. in economics.