Contemporary Conversations March 4: ‘The Role of the Chemical Industry in the Destruction of Chemical Weapons’

| February 11, 2014
Will Carpenter

Dr. Will D. Carpenter

President Beth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster invite the Webster University community to a talk by Dr. Will D. Carpenter, retired vice president and general manager of the New Products Division of Monsanto Company. Carpenter will present “The Role of the Chemical Industry in the Destruction of Chemical Weapons” at Webster University on Tuesday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m., in the East Academic Building, Room 253.

His visit is part of the Webster Presents: Contemporary Conversations for a Connected World series, which complements speakers brought in by Webster’s colleges and schools, celebrating Webster’s great heritage of bringing to campus thought leaders who are progressive, bold, entrepreneurial, provocative and inclusive. The talk may be of interest to Webster faculty to share with their students.

RSVP for the Contemporary Conversations event to Nancy Higgins at 314-968-6959 or

NOTE: This event will also be streamed live for Webster’s worldwide audience at

About Will D. Carpenter, Ph.D.

Dr. Will D. Carpenter retired from Monsanto Company in 1992 as Vice President and General Manager of the New Products Division after 34 years with the company. From 1992 through 1994, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Agridyne Technologies, Inc., and from 1992 through 1995 as Executive in Residence at Mississippi State University. He was on the initial board of Aetos Technologies, Inc and three subsidiaries until 2008. He was an advisor to Chem First, Mississippi Chemical Company, and for Rohm and Haas Company.

Dr. Carpenter joined Monsanto in 1958 as a research biochemist after earning a PhD in Plant Physiology at Purdue University. In 1961, he became Project Supervisor for herbicide development in Monsanto’s Agricultural Division. After serving as Manager of herbicide development, in 1969 he was named Director, Market Development, and played key roles in defining and implementing the company’s strategy as well as developing and bringing to market a number of products including the acetanilides and Roundup. These products were the basis for Monsanto Company to be the most successful agricultural products company in the world for more than twenty years. In 1980, he was named Director, Environmental Operations for the corporate Environmental Policy Staff, serving as Monsanto’s principal spokesman in the environmental arena. From 1982 to 1985, he served as Chair of the Environmental Management Committee of The Chemical Manufacturers Association, the chemical industry organization.

In 1984, he returned to the Agricultural Products Company as General Manager, Technology and was then named Vice President, and Chairman of the Corporate Biotechnology Strategy Committee.

Dr. Carpenter was deeply involved in the efforts to obtain a worldwide chemical weapons treaty from 1978 through 2003. After the convention was ratified and put into force, he was named by the United States as the U.S. representative to the Science Advisory Board of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and was named co-chair of the Board. From 1979 to 1994, he served as the chair of the Chemical Manufacturers Association treaty committee and served as a representative and resource to the United States, NATO, and the UN. In 1992, Dr. Carpenter was awarded the Hilliard Roderick Prize and Medal in Science, Arms Control, and International Security jointly with Dr. Robert Mikulak, currently the United States Ambassador to the OPCW.

In other activities, he was an advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives on the House Science and Technology subcommittee and to the Office of Technology Assessment of Congress. He was a member of the Keystone National Advisory Committee for Biotechnology, and a founding Board member of the World Agricultural Forum. He served on the Mississippi State University Foundation Board, and on the Purdue Science Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the St. Louis Science Center, and a past member of the Board of the St. Louis Academy of Science. He also served in several capacities in professional organizations including President and Fellow of the Weed Science Society of America and for the North Central Weed Conference. He was the founder of the University-Industry Consortium, composed of over 20 Land Grant Institutions and a dozen major companies. He has served as Chair of the Leadership Council of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and on the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences of Webster University. The University of Missouri, St. Louis awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science in 2013.

His undergraduate alma mater, Mississippi State University, has recognized his efforts by awarding him the Agricultural Achievement Award in 1987, Alumni of the year in Agriculture in 1997, and in 2003 he was named National Alumni of the year, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2005. Purdue University named him the School of Science Distinguished Alumni in 1990, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 1999.

In 2005, Gamma Sigma Delta, the International Honor Society of Agriculture, awarded Dr. Carpenter the International Award for Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture.

Dr. Carpenter is a native of Moorhead, Miss. He served in the Naval Reserve from the age of 17 to 20, and saw active duty in the U.S. Army in the U.S. and Korea from 1952 through 1954. He was discharged from the active reserves with the rank of Captain, Artillery in 1961. He resides in Chesterfield, Mo.

Carpenter also serves on the advisory board for Webster University’s Global Leadership Academy.


Category: Alumni, Webster Events

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