Rutgers Business School Expert in Urban Entrepreneurship Named Rutgers-Newark Provost

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

“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,’’ said Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “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 (RBS). 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 (CUEED), 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 Dr. 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.

With a broad academic and professional background spanning business, the social sciences, public policy, and engineering, Robinson has been quoted by PBS, NPR, NJ PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Marketplace, Public Radio International, and NJ Biz.

Among the organizations that have sought him as a consultant are Fortune 1000 corporations, foundations, and leading social sector organizations including KIPP Schools, Legrand North America, The National Urban League, and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).

Robinson, who was born in East Orange and raised in Parsippany, 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.

He has played leading roles in convening cross-sector interests through events such as the New Inclusive Innovation Summit, Global Social Venture Research Conference, and International Social Entrepreneurship Research Conference. In addition to his work at Rutgers-Newark, he is as Board Chair of the Support Center, a non-profit specializing in organizational development, consulting and executive transition, and Chair of Board of Trustees of the Sphinx Scholarship Fund.

Said Cantor, “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.”

Learn more about Jeffrey Robinson in this Rutgers Magazine story