Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of visionary Apple co-founder and CEO, the late Steve Jobs, is joining the board of trustees of Stanford University. She has been elected for a five-year term that will begin on October 1. The move continues her association with educational policy as well as Stanford — she attended business school there, getting her MBA in 1991. Steve Jobs also had a strong connection to Stanford: although Jobs never attended, he delivered one of his most famous speeches at the school: the commencement address at Stanford’s 2005 graduation ceremony. The pair actually met at Stanford in 1989, when Jobs was giving a speech at the business school.
We have been passed news of the appointment by a reliable source. It is expected to be formally announced on Wednesday.
Powell Jobs will be joining a board of trustees that currently lists 32 others, including VCs like Steven Denning from General Atlantic and Bruce Dunlevie from Benchmark Capital; Ronald B. Johnson, the CEO of J.C. Penney; and co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo, Jerry Yang.
While joining the board of trustees is one way of extending the Jobs legacy at Stanford, it is Powell Jobs’ own impressive career in education that could signal active involvement from her going forward:
She is the founder and chair of Emerson Collective, a non-profit that supports social entrepreneurs and others in education, social justice and conservation. Like Stanford, it is based in Palo Alto. One of the biggest projects being undertaken by the Emerson Collective is its work on the Dream Act, federal legislation that, if passed, would help undocumented students (those living and studying in the U.S. without formal green cards or visas) earn U.S. citizenship.
She is also president of the board of College Track, an after-school program that helps needy high school students prepare for college — the kind of training that many disadvantaged kids wouldn’t get through average public schools that helps them both get into college and develop habits and practices to complete their education. College Track is currently operating in East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Aurora, Colorado.
Powell Jobs is also on the board of directors of NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm aimed at projects to enhance public education for low-income students.
Other roles she has include a position on the board of directors of Conservation International, a sustainable development organization; and she is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
Before her more philanthropic activities, Powell Jobs worked as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, and also helped found a natural foods company, Terravera.
[photo via NewSchools Venture Fund]