Robert Jacoby Bio

Robert Jacoby '77 Has Made a Career of Protecting the Environment and Worker Safety

Robert Jacoby ’77, this year’s Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Applied Sciences and Technology, spent most of his career in the energy industry working in the health, safety, and environment (HSE) area, where he had a passion for protecting the environment and working on developing corporate programs that protect workers’ safety.

As the global HSE manager for Shell Global Solutions International, the global research arm of Royal Dutch Shell, where he enjoyed a career spanning over 30 years, Jacoby led a team of scientists in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Malaysia, and India that provided worldwide HSE technical and research and development solutions for all of the corporation’s massive operations. He was also selected to be a member of the corporate HSE Leadership Team that provided strategic direction to executive management on ways to reduce workplace injuries and enhance protection of the environment.

Most recently, Jacoby was the maintenance and engineering services enterprise category manager for Royal Dutch Shell. He again led a global team that developed contracting strategies to safely maintain offshore oil production platforms and refineries worldwide that included large projects in emerging countries such as Iraq, Qatar, and Kazakhstan.

One of the highlights, as well as assets, of Jacoby’s career has been the multicultural experience of working on teams with people from diverse cultures.

“When you get into a room to solve a problem with people from different cultures you find out there may be several different ways to accomplish the same goal and there are people out there than can do it better or more efficiently than you.”

Jacoby imparts the following advice to those who seek to replicate his success as a manager:

“Over the years I’ve learned that those who are good leaders attract talented and smart people. They’re not threatened by intelligence or diversity—they embrace it. So surround yourself with people who are different than you and smarter than you and nurture them.”