Richard Leigh Clifford

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Richard Leigh Clifford
Former Chief Executive Officer
Rio Tinto plc

Leigh Clifford was born in South Australia in 1947. As a qualified mining engineer with an honours degree in Engineering and a masters degree in Engineering Science from Melbourne University, Mr Clifford joined the Rio Tinto Group at Broken Hill, New South Wales in 1970.

He has occupied a wide variety of operational and marketing roles in the coal and metalliferous operations of the Group.

In 1994 Leigh was seconded to Rio Tinto in London as mining director. During this time, he was actively involved in the Group's businesses in the US, Africa, Indonesia and South America. He subsequently returned to Melbourne in 1996 as managing director of Rio Tinto Limited.

In 1999, he returned to the UK as chief executive of Rio Tinto's global Energy product group. He has been a director of Rio Tinto plc since 1994 and was appointed chief executive of Rio Tinto in April 2000.

For a number of years he was a member of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency, and was its chairman from 1998 to 2000.

He was a director of the New Orleans based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold for a number of years, until Rio Tinto's sale of their shareholding in 2004. He is currently a non-executive director of Barclays Bank plc.

Leigh is married with two daughters and lives in London.

Degrees and certifications

  • Engineering (Hons)
  • Masters - Engineering Science - Melbourne University, Australia

Contact Info

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