William Jr. O'Rourke

Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, Duquesne University


Bill O'Rourke is executive director of the Beard Institute in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University.

O'Rourke retired from Alcoa in September 2011 after a 36-year career with the company. He had been named vice president, sustainability and environment, health & safety (EHS) for Alcoa in September 2008. Previously, he was vice president of global business services and the chief information officer (CIO) of Alcoa. O'Rourke had been an Alcoa vice president since 1997.

From the beginning of 2005 to 2008, O'Rourke served as president of Alcoa Russia, a $1 billion revenue business. He was responsible for the substantial manufacturing assets Alcoa acquired in Samara and Belaya Kalitva in the Russian Federation in early 2005. During the three years O'Rourke was in Russia, he spearheaded efforts to bring the facilities up to Alcoa's world class standards and integrate the Alcoa culture. He oversaw an investment program that exceeded $500 million.

After college, O'Rourke was an officer in the U.S. Army. He joined Alcoa in 1975 as a patent attorney after working as an industrial engineer for U.S. Steel.

O'Rourke is also a fellow of the Wheatley Institution in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University and is the current board chair of Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Featured Work

JUL 30, 2014 Podcast

Crisis Breeds Opportunity for Worker Safety and Global Labor Rights

Tragic incidents in Bangladesh brought the issue of labor rights to the global stage once again. What are some new approaches to keeping factory workers ...

CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/6858564222/">Steve Jurvetson</a><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en"> (CC)</a>

SEP 11, 2012 Podcast

The Power of Safety: How Safe Habits Triggered Responsibility at Alcoa

Business ethics professor and former Alcoa VP Bill O'Rourke shows how making safety a top priority transformed Alcoa across the board, in every aspect of ...

CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kennymiller/796971032/" target=_blank">Kenny Miller </a>

JUN 17, 2011 Podcast

Confronting Corruption and Ethics in Emerging Markets

Is it possible to grow a company to $1 billion in revenue in Russia without giving a single bribe? In this interactive workshop with high-level professionals, ...

MAY 10, 2011 Podcast

Alcoa's William O'Rourke: Ethical Business Practices, from Russia to Sustainability

It's all about personal convictions: Bill O'Rourke explains how he grew Alcoa's business in Russia to $1B revenue without giving a single bribe, and how ...