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Board of Directors

The University of Wyoming Research Corporation (dba Western Research Institute) board of directors is responsible for overseeing management in the development of plans, policies, and business strategy. Through regular meetings, the board ensures effective organizational and fiscal planning and sees that company resources are managed properly, in line with the institute's goals. All board members serve without compensation. Current board members are as follows.


     Myron B. Allen, Ph.D., Chairman

      Professor Emeritus of Mathematics,
      University of Wyoming

Dr. Myron B. Allen of Laramie, Wyoming, is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Wyoming. His mathematical interests include numerical analysis, mathematical modeling, and fluid mechanics in porous media-all of which are applicable to the analysis and prediction of contaminant flows in groundwater aquifers and flows of native and injected fluids in oil and gas reservoirs. Dr. Allen previously served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Wyoming. He holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

     Anne Alexander, Ph.D.

      Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate
      Education, University of Wyoming

Dr. Anne Alexander of Laramie, Wyoming, is Associate Vice Provost of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Education at the University of Wyoming. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics at UW and her Master's and BBA in Economics from New Mexico State University. Her research and teaching focus on the history of American capitalism, international economics, and health economics. She regularly speaks to statewide audiences and state and national media about the Wyoming, US, and global economies. She produces an annual economic and statewide engagement report on the impacts of the university on the state, and she has authored several publications on the political and economic impacts of transboundary pandemics and the productivity effects of various diseases. She previously served as Director of International Programs and Associate Dean of Outreach at UW. She has also served as a resource economist in the U.S. Department of State, Assistant Dean of the UW College of Business, and director of UW's Health Economics Policy Center. She is a 2013 alumna of Leadership Wyoming.

   Ronald H. Benson

    Consultant, Haddington Ventures, LLC

Mr. Ronald H. Benson is a highly skilled and accomplished executive with over 35 years of experience in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, oil and gas trading, and business development. He has worked for Marathon Oil Co., Phibro Salomon Inc., Phibro Energy Inc., and TPC Corporation. He was responsible for Phibro's SO% interest in the White Nights Joint Enterprise in Western Siberia, the first oil and gas drilling and production joint venture in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990's. He is presently on the advisory board of directors of Haddington Ventures LLC and the board of the Western Research Institute. He is a resident of Wyoming but spends his winters in Tucson, AZ. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming.

     Rob Hurless

      Deputy Director, Enhanced Oil Recovery
      Institute, University of Wyoming

Mr. Rob Hurless of Casper, Wyoming, is Deputy Director of the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute at the University of Wyoming. Mr. Hurless has served as Wyoming's state energy strategist for Governors Matt Mead and Dave Freudenthal. For much of his career Hurless was publisher of the Casper Star-Tribune. He has a B.S. in chemistry and B.A. in history from Montana State University, an MBA from Harvard Business School and Masters in Applied Economics from Stanford University.

     Fred Wasden, Ph.D., P.E.

      Managing Member, OptilytiX LLC, Houston, TX

Dr. Wasden is a licensed chemical engineer specializing in technology implementation in the global energy sector. Retired from Shell after 31 years, he most recently led Shell's "Asset of the Future" efforts, with primary focus on unconventional resources. Dr. Wasden has broad experience in global petroleum development and operations, as well as major oil company experience in Health, Safety and Environmental management and corporate strategy and portfolio management. He has served as industry liaison to several academic centers of excellence and has extensive experience in shaping and leading industrial technology programs. He holds a B.S. from the University of Wyoming, an M.S. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.

   Richard C. Willson, J.D.

     Managing Director,
     Technology Licensing Company, LLC

Mr. Richard C. Willson, Jr. of Palm Harbor, Florida, is an attorney and chemical engineer specializing in intellectual property and technology transfer, including licensing, patents and trademarks and invention stimulation, for large multinational chemical and petroleum companies. He has served on the board for over a quarter century. He has broad experience conducting cross-cultural negotiations and managing legal-technical implementation of domestic and international transactions such as buying and selling chemical and refining industry technologies. He holds an engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Temple University.