2016 ECC Speaker: Don Vardeman
July 27, 2016
ECC Executive Interview Series: An interview with Don Vardeman, retired VP of Anadarko, and former recipient of the ECC Achievement Award.
Don's leadership in project management at Anadarko was a key contributor to their ranking as the Industry leader in project execution excellence. This interview will focus on Don's secret for delivering best-in-class performance, as well as developing the next generation of Project Managers at Anadarko.
Robert “Don” Vardeman, VP of Worldwide Project Management recently retired from Anadarko Petroleum. He had served as an Officer of the Company since December 2011. After graduating magna cum laude from Texas A&M University in 1975 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he began his career with Amoco in operations, drilling and facilities. He later joined Sun Exploration and Production Company, predecessor of Oryx Energy Company, where he held positions in facilities and project management. Kerr-McGee merged with Oryx in 1999 and he later became vice president of marine facilities engineering. Vardeman and his group led the execution of the company’s deepwater developments including eight spar projects and other floating systems for the Gulf of Mexico and international locations. His teams have utilized servant leadership and relationship-based contracting to attain excellence in project performance. Don had execution responsibility for Anadarko's major projects in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique, and the Gulf of Mexico.
In November 2005, Don was awarded the Citation of Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the President of Finland for meritorious service to the maritime industry of Finland. In 2009, Vardeman received the Achievement Award from the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association. In September of 2015 Don was elected to the Offshore Energy Center's Pioneer Hall of Fame. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals from the Offshore Technology Conference in May of 2016, citing 'superior Project Management skills, introductory use of spars and encouraging leadership style.' He serves on the Engineering Advisory Council at Texas A&M and previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Offshore Technology Conference. Don and his wife, Ann, reside in the Houston area, and have four grown children and ten grandchildren.