Oral history interview with Keith R. McKennon

Oral history interview with Keith R. McKennon

  • 1995-Mar-30

Keith McKennon begins this interview by discussing the origins of his interest in research and chemistry and the impact of growing up in Pendleton, Oregon, and attending Oregon State University. He then describes his early career at Dow Chemical Company and his decision to leave Dow for a sales position with Shell Chemical Company. Next, McKennon explains the process development and sales work he undertook upon his return to Dow and the research management strategies he employed as he later moved through Dow's management ranks. In recalling his decision to change career directions and take a position as a Director of Government Relations and Public Issues, McKennon views external influences on the chemical industry and the impact of environmental activism. He examines his relationship with Paul Oreffice, the change from Zoltan Merszei to Oreffice, and his own turn -- dealing with public concern about dioxin in Agent Orange, and later, at Dow Corning, with the silicon implant affair. Finally, he ends the interview by reflecting on the chemical industry, its future, and the need for quality research management.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 34 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Keith R. McKennon, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 30, 1995. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0142. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/1v53jz09q.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads