The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Rutgers University
Director, New Jersey Social Innovation Institute
Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is an award winning business school professor, international speaker and entrepreneur. Since 2008, he has been a leading faculty member at Rutgers Business School where he is an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship and the founding Assistant Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. The Center is a unique interdisciplinary venue for innovative thinking and research on entrepreneurial activity and economic development in urban environments. He is the co-author along with Dr. Randal Pinkett of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness.
Through his research, business ownership and community activities he makes direct impacts entrepreneurship and economic development policy and practice in the state of New Jersey and beyond.
Dr. Robinson is an accomplished scholar. His research specialty can be described as the being at the intersection of business and society. His work addresses community and economic development issues for urban metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad. He has grant funded research projects on high growth oriented African American women entrepreneurs and early stage social entrepreneurial ventures. He is the co-editor (with Johanna Mair and Kai Hockerts) of the research volumes Social Entrepreneurship, International Perspectives in Social Entrepreneurship, and Values and Opportunities in Social Entrepreneurship. His most recent manuscripts are related to inner city business development and social entrepreneurship. In 2007, he was selected as the recipient of the Aspen Institute’s Social Impact Faculty Pioneer Award for his research, service and teaching activities at the intersection of entrepreneurship and society. In 2011, his course, Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, was recognized as a model of Innovative Entrepreneurship Education by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
He is sought after speaker and trainer in many Fortune 100
Corporations, foundations and leading social sector organizations including
Wells Fargo, PSEG, KIPP Schools, Comcast, and the National Association for
Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).
He has been the keynote speaker at international events and conferences
in Shanghai, China; Lagos, Nigeria; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Melbourne,
Australia; and London, England and has taught or presented his work on six
continents. As a media commentator,
Dr. Robinson has appeared on Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News, PBS, NJN News,
NJBIZ, The Star-Ledger and The New York
He is sought after speaker and trainer in many Fortune 100 Corporations, foundations and leading social sector organizations including Wells Fargo, PSEG, KIPP Schools, Comcast, and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). He has been the keynote speaker at international events and conferences in Shanghai, China; Lagos, Nigeria; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; and London, England and has taught or presented his work on six continents. As a media commentator, Dr. Robinson has appeared on Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News, PBS, NJN News, NJBIZ, The Star-Ledger and The New York Times.
He has completed five degrees in the areas of engineering, urban studies and business. At Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies at Rutgers College and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Rutgers College of Engineering. He has a Master of Science in Civil Engineering Management from Georgia Institute of Technology and an M. Phil. and a Ph.D. in Management and Organizations at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Robinson is a 3rd generation entrepreneur. He has co-founded two social ventures: MBS Enterprises, LLC and Building Community Technology (BCT) Partners. As Seniors at Rutgers University, Robinson along with his college roommates Randal Pinkett and Aldwyn Porter, developed an on-campus music retailing business that funded educational programs they presented in underserved communities. As graduate students in 2001, Pinkett, Robinson, and three other co-founders launched BCT Partners , a firm that provides management, technology and policy consulting to non-profits, foundations, corporations and various government entities as they plan and implement change strategies and improve organizational effectiveness. Through BCT he has worked on numerous community technology and community building projects in the State of New Jersey, and the cities of New York, Baltimore, and Atlanta.
In 2008, he co-founded with his wife, Valerie Mason-Robinson, Eden Organix, a day spa and retailer of organic skin and beauty products in Highland Park, New Jersey that has been recognized by New Jersey Magazine as one of the 10 best spas in the state.
Dr. Robinson is a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship and community economic development. He is particularly committed to supporting community building, entrepreneurship and the development of social ventures. He believes that long lasting change for inner city communities is stimulated when community institutions, business leaders and government entities work together toward the common goal of community revitalization.
Most recently, he is engaged in a multi-year project to raise the profile of social entrepreneurship and social innovation in the state of New Jersey. Emerging from his pioneering research, the New Jersey Social Entrepreneurship Summit and the New Jersey Social Innovation Institute are national models for establishing a regional culture of social problem solving using entrepreneurial approaches.
Dr. Robinson volunteers his time as a member of the board of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute and Abundant Life Community Development Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Abundant Life Family CDC will provide the New Brunswick community with early childhood education centers, job training, community meeting spaces, conference facilities and social services.
Dr. Robinson is the son of the late Pastor Ron and Doreen Robinson of Parsippany, New Jersey. He is married to Valerie Mason-Robinson of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Robinson, his wife and three children reside in Piscataway, New Jersey and are active members of Abundant Life Family Worship Church of New Brunswick, New Jersey. He holds life memberships in the National Black MBA Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Today, his personal mission is to make an impact on the
individuals he works with, the communities he works in and the world of
business. He is poised to be one of the most influential people in the
areas of entrepreneurship and community economic development through public
service, academic research, community building, and advocacy of
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