William C. Lane ('75 Accounting)

2020 Alumni Award Recipient: William "Bill" Lane '75 Accounting

Portrait of William C. Lane.

2020 Service to Smeal Award

Starting a week after graduating from Penn State, Bill Lane spent forty years at Caterpillar, where he became Director of Global Government and Corporate Affairs. With responsibility for the company's advocacy in support of competitiveness, economic growth, and specially trade liberalization, he was center stage during many of the most contentious trade debates of the past three decades. He was also a company spokesman during the Cat-UAW labor dispute.

Most recently, Lane was executive director of Trade for America, a coalition supporting the modernization of NAFTA and KORUS. He is a Wall Street Journal contributor and chairman emeritus of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which supports U.S. funding for diplomacy and development.

For over a decade, Lane was regularly named one of Washington’s top corporate lobbyists by The Hill newspaper. In 2016, he was awarded the Washington International Trade Association's Lighthouse Award.

Lane has been a volunteer for Smeal and Penn State for more than 15 years and currently chairs the Penn State Global Advisory Council. He is a frequent speaker and volunteer for alumni events and initiatives, and is a member of the Smeal College Hammond Society. Lane received the Penn State Alumni Fellow Award in 2011.