ConocoPhillips names woman to board after criticism

ConocoPhillips named Jody Freeman, a female Harvard law professor, to its board of directors after shareholders expressed concerns in May about the company’s all-male board.

Conoco, which recently split its refining and exploration and production businesses, faced criticism from its shareholders at an annual meeting in May for not having a diverse board of directors. The company’s board was comprised of nine men.

Second woman: Finance expert joins Conoco board

Freeman is not replacing anyone on the board. Rather, she will serve as the 10th member of the board of directors.

Freeman, 48, is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and she is the founding director of the Harvard’s environmental law and policy program, according to a news release about her appointment.

Freeman also served as a counselor for the White House for energy and climate change issues from 2009 to 2010. She also served as an independent consultant to the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and offshore drilling.

“Our company is strongly committed to the highest standards for health, safety and environmental stewardship,” ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance said. “Jody’s presence on the board will add a unique and valuable perspective, and help to advance our commitment to operational excellence around the world.”