The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., is the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she has led an extraordinary transformation since 1999. Described by Time Magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” Jackson, a theoretical physicist, has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research.
In 2014, United States President Barack Obama appointed Jackson as Co-Chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which assesses issues pertaining to the quality, quantity, and adequacy of intelligence activities. Jackson also serves on the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. From 2009 to 2014, Jackson served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Before taking the helm at Rensselaer, Jackson was Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1995 to 1999.
Jackson is Vice Chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, a Life Member of the MIT Corporation, and serves on the boards of major corporations that include FedEx, Medtronic and IBM. She is an international fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Among many awards and accolades, Jackson has received the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board.