Peter K. Valles
Class of ‘83
Learning and Development Manager
Shell International Exploration and Productions, Inc.
Peter Valles, an earth science major at Cal Poly Pomona, followed his bachelor of science degree in 1983 with a master's degree in geology at UCLA. His first posting for Shell Oil was as an exploration geologist in Alaska before moving to New Orleans as a senior geologist for Shell's Gulf Coast Division. Valle s was selected as an organizational improvement consultant for Shell Offshore, Inc., a job that focuses on employee development for better efficiency and effectiveness in a time of corporate change.
“I grew up at the foot of the Transverse Ranges in Cucamonga, California,” says Valles, when asked how his career was shaped. “My father took me into those mountains quite often, and it was in the course of these visits that not only my curiosity grew, but also my desire to embark on a formal learning path to understand the great mysteries of the earth.”
By 2001, Valle s had moved to the Netherlands as an internal development consultant at the Royal Dutch Shell headquarters in charge of knowledge management. In 2005, he served as learning and development manager for Shell International E & P (Exploration and Production) and repatriated to the states with his wife, Laura, and their three children. Valles' position is akin to that of an academic provost as he is in charge of overseeing all internal workshops, colloquia, training, and leadership development for Shell international staff in the United States as well as The Netherlands. Despite the demands of his professional life, he maintains a strong connection to Cal Poly Pomona, contributing research and field geology books to the geological sciences department. Valles donates an American Geological Institute Glossary of Geology annually to a deserving student and has created the Henderson-Valles Geoscience Scholarship, which is matched by the Shell Oil Corporate Foundation. Each year, a $750 scholarship is awarded to a geological sciences student. Additionally, Valles is active in the community whether here in the United States or The Netherlands.
“Community service provides an opportunity for us to give our time and talent to those in need,” he says, noting that role modeling the values of integrity, trust, accountability and responsibility is important. “It is about giving of ourselves, being selfless as opposed to always serving ourselves. It is about having compassion for others.”
Valles has taught geology as a volunteer for the past 15 years, focusing on K-8 students, and also taught geology to Dutch students while based in The Netherlands. He has served as a Shell-sponsored Junior Achievement advisor for elementary, middle and high school students in Houston and New Orleans, has been a science project advisor in the impoverished areas of Houston, and is active with the Girl Scouts of America through his daughters' involvement.