Jean E. Spence, Clarkson class of 1979, of Marco Island, FL and previously Wilmette, Ill., recently ended her term as the chair of the Clarkson University Board of Trustees.
Spence is the 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 was at the helm of the Board during the successful merger of Union Graduate College into the University, which became Clarkson’s Capital Region Campus. She also was instrumental in the renewal of the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which led to the highest percentage of women and underrepresented minorities enrolled in the history of the institution.
During her time as Chair, the university enjoyed four Frozen Four appearances and won two D-I National Championship titles for Women’s Ice Hockey. The University also achieved a new mark for the endowment portfolio valued at more than $200 million for the first time, and raised the prominence of its research and the academic enterprise through new centers and signature areas of excellence now coming into their own.
She has been a University trustee since 2006; and served as chair from October 2015 to October 2019. She was an active member of the Alumni Association Executive Board prior to beginning her service as a Trustee.
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 on the Board of Directors for TreeHouse Foods, is a member of the supervisory board of the GEA Group AG in Dusseldorf and is on the board of advisors for Regis Technologies. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and is a certified food scientist. She consults for several organizations as President of JES Consulting, LCC
She and her husband, Bob Spence ’79, are the parents of two adult children