General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Saudi Aramco
David B Kultgen has acted as Saudi Aramco's general counsel and corporate secretary since January 1 this year. He is only the second general counsel in the oil giant's history, and commands immense respect within the corridors of power in Dahran and Riyadh - in the vast majority of Aramco's dealings, Kultgen calls the shots.
A long-time Aramco man, Kultgen graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1970, and obtained his juris doctor degree in 1973 from the School of Law of the University of Texas at Austin.
In 1973, Kultgen joined Aramco in New York, moving to the company's headquarters in Dhahran in 1974. In 1982, he was assigned to the Law Department of Saudi Aramco's principal US subsidiary, Aramco Services Co, where he remained until returning to Dhahran in 1989.
Over the course of his career with Saudi Aramco and its affiliates, he has concentrated on transactional and trade law. He participated as a member of the in-house negotiating teams responsible for affecting several of the company's downstream joint-venture investments, both in Saudi Arabia and internationally, and was part of a Saudi Aramco team that supported the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in the negotiation of energy-related issues during the kingdom's successful accession to the World Trade Organisation.