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Shirley Ann Jackson

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Shirley Ann Jackson

Dr. Jackson is the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic University located in Troy, NY. She was appointed to that position in 1999. She earned her Bachelors in Physics in 1968, and her Ph.D. in 1973, both in Physics from MIT. She was the first African American Woman to earn her Ph.D. from MIT. During her studies she was one of less than 20 African American students studying at the Institute.

From 1976 to 1991 she was employed by Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill. There she conducted research in the areas of theoretical physics, solid state and quantum physics, and optical physics.

From 1991 to 1995 she was on the faculty of Rutgers University, one of the co-sponsors of the IEEE History Center. There she taught undergraduate and graduate students. She also supervised Ph.D. students. During this time she was also a consultant to Bell Labs.

In 1995 President Bill Clinton appointed her as the head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the NAE, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society.

She has been awarded 40 honorary doctorates and is a member of the Board of Directors of several corporations.