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Jean Spence Elected Chair of Clarkson University Board of Trustees

Jean E. Spence, Clarkson class of 1979, of Wilmette, Ill., has been elected to serve as the chair of the Clarkson University Board of Trustees.

Jean E. SpenceSpence is the recently retired executive vice president of research development & quality for Mondelēz International Inc. She currently consults for several organizations as president of JES Consulting, LLC.

As the 22nd board leader since Clarkson was founded in 1896, Spence is the first woman elected to serve as chair. She has been a University trustee since 2006; has been board vice chair since 2012; has served on the executive, compensation, finance & budget and development committees; and chaired the internal affairs committee.

She received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Clarkson in 1979 and a master of engineering degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College.

At Mondelēz International, Spence was responsible for all product and packaging development, research, nutrition, quality, food safety and scientific affairs worldwide. Prior to that, she was the executive vice president of global technology & quality at Kraft Foods, Inc. before it separated part of its business to create Mondelēz International in 2012.

Spence joined Kraft in 1981 as a research engineer for Maxwell House coffee research and development. She holds three U.S. and worldwide patents for her development work. She held a variety of management positions in research and development before being named quality assurance director in 1993. She became vice president of technology in 1996 and vice president, worldwide quality and scientific relations in 1990. In 2001, she was appointed senior vice president of worldwide quality, scientific affairs and compliance for Kraft Foods North America. She was appointed executive vice president of research, development and quality in 2004.

Prior to joining Kraft, Spence worked in manufacturing as a process supervisor for Procter and Gamble in Staten Island, N.Y.

Spence is a member of the supervisory board of the GEA Group AG in Dusseldorf and is on the board of directors of the Josephinum Academy in Chicago. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and is a certified food scientist.

She resides in Wilmette, Ill., with her husband Bob Spence ’79. They are the parents of two adult children.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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