Nicholas Donofrio

Oct. 27: Thought Leader Series

Ensuring that American innovation thrives and education keeps up


11:20 a.m., Oct. 15, 2015--America’s future is all about how well the country ensures that innovation thrives and education keeps up. Two leaders on the national stage believe that message fervently and will share their perspectives in the next presentation in the University of Delaware’s Thought Leader Speaker Series. 

Nicholas Donofrio, IBM executive vice president emeritus, and Kenan P. (Ken) Jarboe, senior program officer at the National Academy of Sciences, will co-present “Innovation in the 21st Century and the Future of Work.” The talk will be held from 4-5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27, in the Roselle Center for the Arts.  A reception for the speakers will begin at 3 p.m.

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Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who held the position of executive vice president of innovation and technology and was also selected as an IBM Fellow, the company’s highest technical honor. He retired from the company in 2008. 

Donofrio is focused sharply on advancing education, employment and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. He has served on the board of directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) and on the board of INROADS, a non-profit focused on the training and development of talented minority youth for professional careers in business and industry. 

He led the work of the Council on Competitiveness around their National Innovation Initiative, which went on to become the America Competes Act. The U.S. Department of Education appointed him in 2005 to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a 20-member delegation of business and university leaders charged with developing a national strategy for post-secondary education to meet the needs of America's diverse population and workforce, which resulted in A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of Higher Education

Donofrio also chaired the National Academy of Engineering effort that resulted in the March 2015 release of Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology and Work.

He holds seven technology patents, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and numerous technical and science honor societies, and holds several board positions.

Among his many honors, he was named one of the 25 Top Innovation Champions by Business Week in 2006.

Donofrio holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, respectively, in addition to numerous honorary doctorates from U.S. and international institutions. 

Jarboe is the senior program officer for manufacturing, design and innovation at the National Academy of Engineering, where he is responsible developing and managing studies on the changing nature of manufacturing and its impact on economic growth, employment, sustainability and quality of life. 

Previously, Jarboe was president and co-founder of Athena Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit research organization focused on the information, intangibles and innovation (I-Cubed) economy. 

Jarboe has served in a number of senior staff positions for the U.S. Senate, including as chief economist for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Before founding Athena Alliance, he served as senior U.S. strategist at G7 Group Inc., a Washington-based political economy consulting firm, as senior fellow at the Work and Technology Institute, and as an analyst at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. 

His consulting clients have included the National Academy of Sciences, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Science and Technology Policy Institute and the German Institut Arbeit und Technik. 

An internationally recognized expert on the knowledge economy, Jarboe is the author of numerous publications and presentations on intellectual capital and intangible assets, innovation, economic competitiveness and technology policy. 

He has also served as assistant professor of technology management at the University of Maryland–University College and as an adjunct professor of international business at Georgetown University.

Jarboe received his doctorate in sociotechnological planning and his bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.

This presentation in UD’s Thought Leader Speaker Series is sponsored by the Delaware Will Shine strategic planning initiative and the Office of the Provost.

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