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Rising BP leaders share their thoughts on CERAWeek 2019

Release date:
March 14, 2019
Five up-and-coming BP leaders were chosen to participate in the Future Energy Leaders and Women in Energy programs at CERAWeek by IHS Markit, the energy industry’s annual international gathering of executives, innovators and government officials

Robert Macnamara, Zhao Chad Kong, Ariel Gobbi, Alison Bondurant, and Teresa Homer were nominated by BP leaders for this year’s program, which brings together high-potential individuals from companies, governments, academic institutions and other organizations to help empower them to meet current and future energy challenges.


During the conference, which took place March 11–15 in Houston, Future Energy Leaders and Women in Energy had opportunities to network with peers and engage in discussions led by industry executives and experts.


Here, they share their thoughts from CERAWeek:

The Future Energy Leaders at CERAWeek 2019

Future Energy Leaders

Robert Macnamara, Petroleum Engineer

How has the Future Energy Leaders program given you new perspective on your career at BP?


The FEL program opened my eyes to the tremendous importance of building strong partnerships and relationships at a higher business level. Seeking out partners who share our values will be important to finding and unlocking business models and technical initiatives that can drive positive social and environmental change while maintaining strong financial return. I’m also leaving with a refreshed perspective on the need to drive digital and automated technologies to solve business problems so that we can keep up with the fast pace of technology development.


Zhao Chad Kong, Drilling Engineer

What was your favorite session that you attended, and why?


My favorite session was a Future Energy Leaders Program by Dr. Ken Medlock and Dr. Tom Kolditz from Rice University discussing leadership in energy. In the session, Dr. Medlock and Dr. Kolditz shared a very inspirational message about building leadership through empathy within organizations and gave actionable advice on how to become better leaders. The session also helped me place the work that I do as a drilling engineer within the context of the global energy and geopolitical environment.


Ariel Gobbi, Drilling Engineer

How has the Future Energy Leaders program given you new perspective on your career at BP?


I’ve enhanced my perspective about the energy industry and specifically oil and gas by interacting with a diverse group of peers from many different energy sectors and by constantly engaging in leadership conversations with exceptional professionals, including prominent executives. The Future Energy Leaders program provided me with the opportunity to network with key stakeholders not only in the oil and gas fields but also in government, utilities and education.

Women in Energy, Alison Bondurant and Teresa Homer

Women in Energy

Alison Bondurant, OBO and Performance Engineer

What have you liked so far about CERAWeek?


CERAWeek has provided me with an opportunity to step away from my daily focus on the Gulf of Mexico oil business. I have enjoyed hearing from leaders and meeting people from all aspects of the energy industry. The discussions so far have focused on the energy transition and digital future, and I’m excited about BP’s role in this future.


Teresa Homer, Planning and Performance Manager

What was the most surprising or interesting thing you learned at CERAWeek?


I attended the Women in Energy Dinner and was really pleased to see that there was quite a large male presence at the session. The panel of esteemed women brought a balanced view towards promoting women in the industry and shared their own personal experiences and journeys. A key theme throughout the conversation was unconscious bias, how it applies to men and women and the impact this has.