Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering has appointed information technology entrepreneur Kimberly J. Jenkins as executive-in-residence in the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program.
Jenkins is now serving, on a volunteer basis, as a mentor to students in the MEM program and faculty at Duke interested in technology commercialization. She also plans to explore ways to increase the number of women and minorities in commercial technology innovation and entrepreneurial careers.
Jenkins, a Duke graduate, is the former president of the Internet Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute that examines global internet use policy issues. She was also the founder, chairman and president of Highway 1, a nonprofit corporation focused on helping the federal government operate more effectively through the use of information technologies.
During her career in management Jenkins founded Microsoft's Education Division, ran market development at NeXT, and worked as a technical analyst for Control Data Corporation. She has also served as a consultant to companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Oracle and Cisco.
Kimberly Jenkins will be working with students and faculty on various activities related to women in entrepreneurship and women in engineering," said Jeff Glass, director of the MEM Program. "With her successful background in business, she will be an excellent role model for our engineering management students who plan to enter the business world after graduation. She will also bridge programs in the Arts and Sciences at Duke with the Pratt School of Engineering's Master of Engineering Management Program to enhance cross disciplinary learning for all students involved."
Jenkins already has organized a research study with two students to better understand why so few women and minorities choose commercial technology and entrepreneurial careers.
Many women choose careers in small business and non-profit organizations, but very few opt to pursue for profit, technology oriented, commercial endeavors," Jenkins said. "There is tremendous interest in understanding and solving this problem, but very little research has been conducted to date." She said she plans to then help Duke establish the courses, programs and internships needed to help foster more robust involvement of these populations.
Jenkins currently serves on the Duke University Board of Trustees, where she chairs the Committee for Institutional Advancement. She is also a member of the Duke University Health Systems Board and the Kenan Institute for Ethics Board.
The MEM professional degree program develops future industry leaders by combining a core management curriculum with a master's level technical education and an engineering internship. The program combines technical courses and includes business law, finance, marketing, and management courses with an emphasis on technology management, innovation management and entrepreneurship. The degree is offered with the support of Duke's Fuqua School of Business and the Duke School of Law.