Alumni News

October 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Notable Alumni | 60 Countries Later, Economics Alum Returns to Athens as Glidden Professor

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences launches the Notable Alumni Awards, honoring 37 Notable Alumni in 2017 for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Ed Chow ’71 Economics, ’72M Southeast Asia Studies

Ohio University alum Ed Chow arrived in Athens 50 years ago as a 17-year-old making his first overseas trip, halfway around the world from Hong Kong.

“This journey has now come full circle, as I am a Glidden Visiting Professor for this academic year, based in the departments of Economics and Political Science, my double majors as an undergraduate,” he says.

“I have never regretted that random decision,” he says. “A small college town in the Midwest was a real blessing for an immature young man starting his path to adulthood. I gained knowledge and experienced kindness from faculty, administrators, fellow students, and townspeople.”

Ed Chow

Ed Chow

Five years and two degrees later, Chow left Ohio University much better prepared for life and with a deep appreciation of the American spirit. “Most importantly, I met my wife and life-partner, Charlotte, a native Ohioan, in Athens,” he says.

Ed and Charlotte Chow, in an outdoor photo

Ed and Charlotte Chow

A Career in International Energy

In the past 45 years, Chow has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Beijing, and back to Washington. An international energy career has taken him to 60 countries around the world.

Chow is currently a Senior Fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is an international energy expert with 40 years of industry experience working around the world. He has developed government policy and business strategy, and successfully negotiated multibillion-dollar oil and gas agreements. He has advised governments, international financial institutions, major oil companies, and leading multinational corporations. He spent 20 years with Chevron Corp. in headquarter and overseas assignments.

“In the last decade and half, I have advised U.S. and foreign governments and multinational companies on multi-billion dollar oil and gas investments in emerging economies, taught and lectured at universities on energy economics and geopolitics, led non-profits, and worked at think tanks, including currently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington,” he says.

Lecturing on Campus

Chow’s return to Athens in 207-18 as a Glidden professor included visiting many classes and even giving some university-wide lectures.

He joined the Wealth and Poverty Theme for a talk on “Geoeconomics and Geopolitics of Eurasian Energy,” discussing oil and gas in Russia and in general the Eurasian region on Oct. 24.

Ed Chow when he was a student at OHIO. Standing in front of Perkins.

Ed Chow when he was a student at OHIO.

Favorite OHIO Memories

“When I was president of the international students association, Ravi Shankar, the world-renowned sitar player, came to campus to perform. This would be 1969 or ’70. As president, I got the honor of escorting him and his group of world-class musicians and work with the Indian students to make sure that they got a proper Indian vegetarian meal. After the performance, he sat down and conversed with a small group of us. It struck me at the time, and still, what a tranquil, gentle soul he was and how this was integral to his artistry. This is the world that a small college town in the remote Appalachian foothills opened for me and I haven’t stop exploring it since,” Chow said.

“It is difficult to single out one memorable moment (other than meeting Charlotte, of course) or mentor from my time in Athens,” Chow said. “However, I met Professor Rich Vedder again a year and half ago and discovered that he is still teaching and living in Athens. He is obviously still contributing to his field of economics and making a difference in the lives of his students to whom he is devoted. He is clearly also having fun,” Chow says.

“I can think of no better model and inspiration for what to do with the rest of my life. I am still learning from Ohio University and Athens.”

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