Jamie N. Jones, Ph.D., a scientist who specializes in connecting science and technology to commercial opportunities in emerging and developing markets, with technical expertise in organometallic synthesis and nanoparticle functionalization, will serve as commencement speaker for the twenty-sixth senior class to graduate from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) on Saturday, May 30, at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora. Dr. Jones describes herself as a "scientist passionate about business models that can make our world a better place for all citizens." She is a strong example of what is possible at the intersections of scientific research, academia and entrepreneurship, which is where many of our current and future students will lead, and a great speaker for IMSA at this pivotal time in its history.
An Innovation Advisor for RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, she provides government, universities, nonprofits, and private clients with technology commercialization assessment, open innovation and technology-driven market intelligence services that result in growth opportunities for their business. Her current work includes a USAID program to strengthen research capacity in Filipino universities through stronger connections with the private sector as well as work for the Gates Foundation to support the global commercialization of dignified sanitation solutions. She is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she previously served as the Director of Social Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Jones is the co-founder of Impact Engine, an impact venture accelerator at 1871 Chicago designed to support early-stage for-profit start-ups with an integrated social and/or environmental mission. She earned a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, with majors in finance, biotechnology management and social enterprise. Prior to Kellogg, Dr. Jones was a product development chemist and worked in several areas including medical devices, wound care and material science. She earned a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Jones holds patents for functionalized nanoparticles and their use in particle/bulk material systems, has published in scientific journals and is a passionate advocate for STEM teaching, learning, innovation and entrepreneurship, including reverse innovation and social entrepreneurship, as well as social impact investing.