Anadarko Chairman Hackett to attend Harvard Divinity School

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s retiring executive chairman will be learning to write, speak and teach about faith and leadership while attending Harvard Divinity School in the fall.

Company spokesman John Christiansen said James Hackett, who served as CEO until May 2012, has long been interested in the subjects and that is one of the key reasons he is retiring from Anadarko. It wasn’t immediately clear if he will be seeking a degree or what discipline he might be focusing on during his studies.

Hackett is a supporter of the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic liberal-arts school in Houston. In 2008, he spoke to the school’s graduating class about passion, courage and service. He received an honorary doctorate degree at the ceremony.

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Hackett’s retirement from the company is effective after the company’s annual meeting this May, Christiansen said. He wasn’t available for an interview Monday, the spokesman said.

Hackett, 59, was appointed CEO in 2003 and board chairman in 2006. He previously served in executive roles at Devon Energy and has held positions in engineering, finance and marketing with NGC Corp., Burlington Resources and Amoco Oil Co.

Hackett serves on the boards of several companies, include Bunge Ltd. and Cameron International, and is a board member and adjunct professor at Rice University.

Anadarko, based in The Woodlands, is one of the world’s biggest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies.