"What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing America?
America faces many challenges, but I’ll highlight two. First, we must continue to develop strong, principles-based leaders of the future. They must be able to make the tough decisions that may not be popular but that they believe are necessary for the long-term good. That’s becoming increasingly difficult in our society. Second, a real threat to our nation’s future competitiveness and leadership in innovation is the lack of students pursuing math and science. That’s why ExxonMobil is so actively involved in supporting those subjects, including through the National Math and Science Initiative that we helped launch with a $125 million commitment last year.
How do you believe the BSA contributes to organizations like ExxonMobil?
The Boy Scouts is a feeder organization for tomorrow’s leaders, whether they become presidents of the United States, CEOs of a major corporation, or simply good citizens. Scouting nurtures strong values in young people, including honesty and integrity, and allows them to test those values in real-life situations. People who have good leadership and citizenship skills are vital for all companies, not just ExxonMobil.
What advice would you give to young men and women in high school and/or college?
Never compromise on honesty or integrity. There is no path to personal success through any other means. You will sometimes encounter situations where you’ll be tempted to take a shortcut and compromise integrity for short-term gain. But I can assure you those gains will be short-lived. Once you compromise your personal integrity, restoring it is a difficult thing to do."
Rex's favorite novel: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.