Marvin E. Odum serves as chief recovery officer for the City of Houston. He was appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner in September 2017 after the historic damage Houston suffered as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
The mission of the recovery effort is to secure and deploy disaster resources to accelerate Houston’s recovery, strengthen Houston’s resilience, and enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Houston and its people. In announcing his appointment, Mayor Turner asked Odum to make bold recommendations and “get us out of our comfort zone.”
Odum has accepted no salary for this full-time appointment.
Odum is retired chairman and president of Shell Oil Company and executive committee member of Royal Dutch Shell. Odum directed a broad portfolio, from traditional oil and gas development to emerging technologies in a wide range of areas, including heavy oil, onshore gas, light tight oil, deepwater, wind and biofuels. He was also CEO of InterGen, a global power development and generation company earlier in his career.
He began his Shell career as an engineer in 1982, and served in a number of management positions of increasing responsibility in both technical and commercial aspects of energy. In addition to running the business, his role involved engaging with public, private, media and non-governmental leaders on a wide range of energy policy issues. He was charged with establishing and advocating innovative, industry-leading solutions to the challenge of securing safe, secure and sustainable energy sources. He also led Shell’s major role in supporting New Orleans’ recovery after Hurricane Katrina.
Odum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and board member of the National Urban League. In addition, he is a member of the Dean’s Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Advisory Board of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, and co-chair of the $1 billion capital campaign for the University of Houston. He also serves on the University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors for MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Odum earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston.