Great leaders are built, not born. That’s the central message behind Engineering Leadership, a nonprofit that Clemson University alumnus Doug Haugh has developed to demystify leadership and help create engineering leaders of the future.
Haugh knows something about the topic. He has built an influential career in the energy and technology industries and has held several leadership positions along the way since receiving his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Clemson University.
“Engineering Leadership has a double meaning,” Haugh said. “It’s leadership from engineers, but it’s also believing leadership can be engineered. It can be broken down into its constituent parts, just like we’re trained to do in engineering.”
The nonprofit is thoroughly infused with Clemson orange. A podcast hosted by Haugh features interviews with 17 C-suite executives, all alumni of Clemson’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. Haugh has also recorded a video interview with the college’s dean, Anand Gramopadhye.
A panel discussion at Clemson is planned for this fall, and Haugh is working with the college to introduce a course that would be offered through the undergraduate Creative Inquiry program.
“Doug and his wife, Athena, are devoted alumni and partners of the college who have generously given back to their alma mater for many years,” Gramopadhye said. “I thank them and look forward to continuing our work to build leaders of the future. This will become a valuable resource not only for our students and faculty but for the broader engineering community.”
It comes as no surprise that the Haughs have maintained such a strong connection to Clemson.
While they both grew up in the Charleston area, they didn’t meet until arriving on campus, and both have credited the University with helping position them for success after graduation.
Doug, who graduated magna cum laude in 1994, now serves as president of Parkland USA, an independent marketer of fuel and petroleum products.
Athena received her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1993 and then went to work for Tennessee Valley Authority. She later went on to a 23-year career in technical sales with Exxon Mobil, a position that gave her the opportunity to travel the world.
She left the company last year to focus on the couple’s children, Asa, 14, and Gavin, 12. The Haugh family now resides in Charleston.
Doug said he first became interested in leadership while serving as president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. It was his first major leadership position, one that put him in charge of a budget and “120 of his closest friends.”