Rutgers Business School leader in urban entrepreneurship named Rutgers-Newark provost

He’s an internationally known author, co-founder of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and a Rutgers Business School professor, and now Jeffrey Robinson has been named Rutgers University–Newark’s new provost and executive vice chancellor.

His accolades don’t stop there. A New Jersey native, Robinson was born in East Orange and raised in Parsippany. He holds five academic degrees, spanning engineering, urban studies and business. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies at Rutgers College and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Rutgers School of Engineering, a Master of Science in civil engineering management from Georgia Institute of Technology as a GEM Fellow, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in management and organizations from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

“Jeff has earned a reputation as a thought leader, author, sought-after speaker and trainer working at the intersection of economic development, social problem solving, inclusive innovation and workforce diversity,’’ Rutgers–Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome him to his new role on our leadership team.’’

Robinson, who starts the job July 1, holds the Prudential Chair in Business and is professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School. He joined Rutgers–Newark in 2008, where he has specialized in management and entrepreneurship.

“I am excited to contribute to the mission of Rutgers University–Newark as an anchor institution in the city and region,” Robinson said. “Specifically, I look forward to focusing on innovation and economic development along with faculty recruitment and retentions. I am particularly drawn to RU–Newark’s strengths in the arts, STEM and entrepreneurship.”

As academic director for the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Robinson’s expansive, publicly engaged scholarship has created vitally important programs that cultivate and mentor entrepreneurs.

He has authored many articles and books in his areas of expertise, including the 2022 Harper Collins guide “Black Faces in High Places: 10 Strategic Actions for Black Professionals to Reach the Top and Stay There,” co-authored with Rutgers alumnus Randall Pinkett.

Robinson has extensive experience in major grant writing and management, including multimillion-dollar support from the National Science Foundation aimed at building and broadening inclusive pathways in STEM. He has also received funding from numerous federal, state and private agencies and organizations to cultivate entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.

“Jeff’s work exemplifies Rutgers-Newark’s strategic commitment to social mobility, publicly-engaged scholarship and anchor institution collaboration as a major urban research university where cross-disciplinary collaboration is paramount and where we are profoundly committed to leveraging our strengths with partners locally, statewide, nationally and globally to move the needle on the most pressing challenges facing our communities and our world,” Cantor said.