Dr. Juan Ernesto de Bedout
Juan Ernesto de Bedout (retired) as group president of Latin American Operations for Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies, Kleenex, and Scott consumer products, where he was responsible for the business units in twenty-two Central, South American, and Caribbean countries. Dr. de Bedout joined the company in 1981 as a managing director, and following subsequent roles as general manager, vice president, and president, he was elected group president in 1999. He led numerous expansions, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances, reaching a leadership position throughout the region, and being recognized on various occasions as the best place to work in Latin America by the Great Place to Work Institute. Mr. de Bedout is a director of VF Corporation, maker of lifestyle brands such as The North Face, Timberland and Vans. Additionally, he is chair of Purdue's Engineering Advisory Council, a member of the university's Industrial Engineering and Global Affairs Strategic Advisory Councils and of the Penn State Enterprise Integration Consortium Industry Advisory Board. Born in Medellin, Colombia, he earned his BSIE (1967) and MSIE (1968) degrees from Purdue and received the university's Outstanding Industrial Engineer (1998), Distinguished Engineering Alumnus (2000) and Engineering Alumni Association (2002) awards. Purdue bestowed him an Honorary Doctor in Engineering degree (2013) and more recently, the students selected him an Old Master (2014). Of great pride are the strategically-impactful, mutual-benefit programs evolving from the Colombia-Purdue Institute that he has helped forge, also known as the CPI. His two sons and nephew are all engineers, two of them with Purdue PhD degrees.