Born in Beirut, Lebanon to the son of a mathematics professor, Ray Irani emigrated to America in 1953 to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Southern California. In 1983, following stints at Monsanto, Shamrock, and Olin Corporation, Dr. Irani was hired at Occidental Petroleum by that company’s legendary founder, Armand Hammer. Following Hammer’s death in 1990, Dr. Irani was elevated to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. By the time he left Occidental in 2011, he had increased Occidental’s market capitalization 15-fold to more than $80 billion. He holds 50 U.S. patents and more than 100 foreign patents.

Today, Dr. Irani is the Chairman and CEO of Ray Investment, LLC, a privately held investment company.