With tireless leadership and passion, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson has inspired a generation of students and scientists to become the next class of great American leaders. In the process, she has transformed the oldest technological university in the United States into one of the most modern and prestigious research institutions in the world. Her unmatched expertise in an incredible range of disciplines has made Dr. Jackson a trusted advisor to chief executives in boardrooms and presidents in the Oval Office.
Dr. Jackson’s contributions to the fields of science and technology are only rivaled by the barriers she has broken with boundless courage throughout her career. As the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT, chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and become president of a world-class technological research university, she has fulfilled the ultimate public service: granting opportunities to millions of young learners around the world.
Through her role as the founder and first chairman of the International Nuclear Regulators Association, and as former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Jackson forged remarkable progress for America’s security and long-term prosperity. At her current positions with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Engineering, she continues to provide insightful leadership for America in pursuit of its limitless potential.
The magnitude of Dr. Jackson’s accomplishments have been recognized by the nation’s premier institutions, highlighted by the House Congressional Resolution 96, which honored her achievements as an African American Women in Science, and her appointment to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. As a recipient of the prestigious National Science Board’s Vannevar Bush Award in 2007 and recepient of the 2012 Presidential Medal for Science, Dr. Jackson joined an exclusive list of America’s scientific pioneers.
Nearly a decade ago, when asked to identity her values, Dr. Jackson responded that excellence, community and leadership were at the top of her list. From her renowned excellence in science and public policy, to the imaginative community she hascreated at Rensselaer, to the leadership she exhibited throughout her life, Dr. Jackson exemplified success by any measure.