Anna Shaughnessy

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Anna Shaughnessy
BSc university U. of Gothenburg, Sweden
MSc university Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Anna Shaughnessy started her career as an interpreter geophysicist, and quickly advanced into roles with increasing responsibility, in exploration, production, technology, strategic planning and business improvement.

Professional Career

Shaughnessy’s career has spanned three continents, with leadership roles at Mobil, Saudi Aramco, Texaco and Kerr-McGee. She now works in the academic sector, in her current role as Executive Director of MIT’s Earth Resources Laboratory (ERL).

With a documented capacity to lead groups towards the achievement of goals, Shaughnessy has excelled at establishing successful liaisons with many nationalities and organizations. She has had a rich multicultural work experience in the US, Saudi Arabia and Norway during her industry career.

SEG Contributions

Shaughnessy has been a member of SEG since 1980. She is currently Vice Chair of the SEG Foundation Board. Previously, she has served on the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the SEAM Audit Committee, the Women's Network Committee and SEG Global Inc. Shaughnessy is also a member of AAPG, AGU and EAGE.

SEG Life Membership 2017

Anna C. Shaughnessy has been nominated for Life Membership due to her extensive volunteer and leadership participation within SEG over many years of dedication and commitment to elevate the Society to new heights. Her efforts have increased in recent years as she firmly believes that volunteering for SEG is a way to give back to those that supported her in her career, as well as to help propel the younger generation of geophysicists forward, a much cherished objective of hers.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership 2017 [1]

by Maria Angela Capello

Anna C. Shaughnessy is a multiterrain successful professional. Having received her MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980, she spent her career developing initiatives for academia, research, and especially the oil and gas industry, spanning her efforts in several organizations, on three continents. She started out as a geophysical interpreter, but very soon her natural leadership and mentoring skills catapulted her to leading roles, something she enjoyed more than being a single contributor. Her contributions in this early phase were multiple in the areas of oil and gas exploration, technology development, and deployment of new technological advances at the pilot and full-field scales. A truly multicultural person, Anna’s career reflects a plural perspective, having resided in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Scandinavia and worked extensively on project teams in Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada, and Brazil. During her industry years, she worked for Mobil Oil, Saudi Aramco, Texaco, and Kerr-McGee/Anadarko.

The academic sector benefitted from Anna’s experience and insightful viewpoints in 2011, when she became the executive director for the Earth Resources Laboratory at MIT in Cambridge, one of the most prolific research centers with worldwide- renowned prestige.

Anna’s drive toward success and her ability to thrive in academic and corporate environments are a result of a systematic approach to work, coupled with gracious handling of the human aspects of business and professional relationships. Anna’s extensive volunteering for SEG is impressive, and a few highlights help me underpin her effectiveness on key initiatives of our Society, where she used her strategic vision, commitment, systematic approach, and personal touch to achieve goals of high impact:

  • SEG Foundation Board and Finance Committee (2014 to present)
  • Women’s Network Committee, Advisory Council (2014 to present)
  • Women’s Network Committee
  • SEG Executive Committee, Secretary/Treasurer (one year)
  • SEG Finance Committee (six years)
  • SEG Global Inc. Board (three years)
  • SEG/SEAM Audit Committee (three years)
  • SEG Foundation Campaign (one year)

Few people combine the qualities required to become a role model like Anna does: resilience, multiculturalism, knowledge, communicational ability, mentoring capacity, natural leadership, and true caring. This award is extremely well deserved for Anna, especially as it will highlight her as a natural role model for current and future generations of geoscientists and researchers all over the world.


  1. (2017). ”Honors and Awards.” The Leading Edge, 36(10), 806–819.

External links

MIT Earth Resources Lab

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Anna Shaughnessy
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