Laurene Powell Jobs MBA ’91, wife of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has been elected as the newest member of the Stanford Board of Trustees, the University announced this morning in a press release. A leader and founder of nonprofit organizations aimed at advancing social reform efforts, especially in education, Laurene Jobs will start her five-year term on the Board on Oct. 1.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and working at Goldman Sachs, Laurene Jobs first came to Stanford in 1989 as a business school student. Here, she met her future husband, Steve Jobs, when he gave a lecture as part of the school’s long-running “View from the Top” speaker series.
Despite choosing to keep “a generally low profile” and being described as “intensely private,” according to a 2011 San Jose Mercury article, Laurene Jobs has launched a series of successful business and philanthropic ventures over the years. These include Terravera, an organic food company, in 1991; College Track, a nonprofit after-school program aimed at preparing underserved students for college, in 1997; and most recently, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit organization called the Emerson Collective, which collaborates with entrepreneurs to solve social issues in areas like education and conservation. The Emerson Collective is currently working to pass the Dream Act, a federal legislation that would in part help undocumented college students attain U.S. citizenship.
As a result of these philanthropic efforts, President Obama appointed Laurene Jobs to serve on the then-newly established White House Council for Community Solutions in 2010. And this January, First Lady Michelle Obama invited Laurene Jobs to sit in her box for the State Union of Address, with the accompanying press release acknowledging her work with the Emerson Collective.
In March, Forbes Magazine ranked Laurene Jobs as the 13th richest women in the world, with a listed net worth of $9 billion.
Like all members of the Stanford Board of Trustees, Laurene Jobs will serve a five-year term. RoAnn Costin MBA ’81, founder and president of the private Boston-based equity company Wilderness Private Investments, will also begin her term on Oct. 1, as previously announced by the University in August.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the annual budget, determining university policies, and appointing a university president, who also serves as an ex officio member of the board. At its April 16-17 meeting, the Board had 32 members, three short of its 35-member maximum. Since then, the Board has also elected Jeffrey Raikes ’80, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to serve as a member, in addition to Costin and Laurene Jobs.
– Kurt Chirbas