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Poole College of Management

Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Think and Do The Extraordinary
Support the College

Jessica Thomas

Director, Business Sustainability Collaborative & Lecturer, MIE Department

Nelson Hall 3118



MBA, , Duke University Fuqua School of Business (2004)

Department and Affiliations

Sustainability Initiative, Office of the Dean

Jessica Thomas brings the following significant prior experience in sustainability initiatives to her new role at NC State’s Poole College of Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Managing director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise 2009 – 2013: Responsible for managing the strategy, operations, and finance of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise, a global leader in advancing the understanding and practice of socially and environmentally responsible business strategies
  • BASE program director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise 2007 – 2009: Developed, launched and directed the operations of BASE, the UNC Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, a business incubator for early-stage social and sustainable ventures across North Carolina.

Before focusing on sustainability programs, she held positions in engineering and product development:

  • Product Development Consultant, Alameda, Calif., providing start-up educational toy companies with innovative product design, business development, production and marketing services, 1999 – 2002
  • Leapfrog Enterprises, Inc., Emeryville, Calif., Product Development Manager, 1997 – 1999
  • Comsat Mobile Communications, Clarksburg, Md., Systems Engineer, 1995 – 1997

Research Publications

Co-author, “Get Hired, Get Paid, Save the World.” Currently co-authoring with Mark Albion, a case study illustrating UNC Kenan-Flagler’s successes in sustainability career development. In discussion with Stanford Social Innovation Review regarding publication (2013).
• Co-uthor, Bank of America eWaste Recycling Strategy. Currently co-advising a team of MBA students on a research project with Bank of America, and co-authoring a related white paper (2013).
• Co-author, “Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability.” Co-authored with Anne Claire Broughton, President, SJF Institute (2012).
• Author, “How Not to Save the World,” a novel. Published by Lulu Press (2011).
• Co- author, “Case study: Jamii Bora.” Co-authored case brief along with Lisa Jones Christensen. Published in online and print editions of The Financial Times (2010).
• Co-author, “Jamii Bora and Kaputei Town: Affordable and Sustainable Housing for Urban Slumdwellers.” Co-authored with Lisa Jones Christensen case study. Selected as a top 5 case by the 2009 Oikos Social Entrepreneurship Case Writing Competition (2008).
• Researcher and author, NC Department of Commerce, Industry Sector Sustainability Reports. Conducted research analyzing sustainability issues facing NC’s chemicals, textiles, biotech, and financial services industries (2007-08).
• C-author, “Procter & Gamble’s PuR Water Purifier: The Hunt for a Sustainable Business Model.” Coauthored with Lisa Jones Christensen case study. Selected as 2nd place prize winner in the 2008 Oikos Sustainability Case Writing Competition (2007).
• Co-author, “Myths and Realities in Calculating a Corporate Environmental Footprint: Lessons from Bank of America.” Co-authored environmental footprint article with Professors Al Segars and Lisa Jones Christensen (2007).
• Co-author, “2006 Development Report Card for the States”. Co-authored with Lillian G. Woo, Dave Buchholz and William Schweke, a state-level analysis of asset-based economic development indicators (2005).
• Co-author, “Assets and Opportunity Scorecard”. Co-authored with Lillian G. Woo, David Buchholz, and Jerome Uher a state-level examination of asset accumulation and asset policy (2005).
• Researcher, “Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits.” Conducted research and developed methodology for a book which explores how young, entrepreneurial nonprofits have achieved dramatic, sustainable social impact (2004)

“How Not to Save the World,” published by LuLu Press (2011).