Marcia E. Backus is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Occidental Petroleum. In this role, she oversees more than 60 lawyers in the U.S. and at Occidental's assets around the world.
Before joining Occidental in 2013, Ms. Backus was a partner at Vinson & Elkins in Houston, Texas, with responsibility for the firm's Energy Transactions/Projects Practice Group. She represented industry and private equity companies in domestic and international corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments, project development and other energy transactions.
Ms. Backus is ranked among the leading business lawyers in oil and gas and energy by both Chambers USA and Chambers Global, and was named 2012 "Lawyer of the Year" in mergers and acquisitions by The Best Lawyers in America. In 2016, she was named one of the "Top Women in Energy" by Texas Lawyer magazine. Ms. Backus served in numerous leadership positions with Vinson & Elkins, including on the firm-wide management committee and as co-chair of the corporate department and chair of the partnership admissions committee. She worked on transactions in more than 20 countries.
Ms. Backus holds a Bachelor of Arts degree awarded summa cum laude from the University of Texas, and a J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif honorary scholastic society. A co-founder of the school's Center for Women in Law, Ms. Backus currently serves as a trustee for the University of Texas Law School Foundation and as a member of the Executive Council of the university's Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business. She is also a member of the Houston Symphony Board of Directors.