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Graduate School Alumni Association Board names Jia Chen (’00 Ph.D., Physics) as Chair

October 20, 2022

by Ira Hafer

The Graduate School Alumni Association (GSAA) is excited to announce the appointment of Jia Chen (’00 Ph.D., Physics) as current chair of the board. Chen is a Global Product Leader at IBM, where she serves on IBM’s Academy of Technology Leadership Team among other initiatives at the intersection of health, AI, and technology.

Previously vice-chair, Chen has volunteered for and served as a board member of the GSAA where she co-chaired the annual “Where Do I Go from Yale” (WDIGFY) career event hosted by the GSAA. Additionally, Chen has hosted virtual and in-person GSAS sessions for incoming graduate students and has been a panelist for Career, Life, and Yale (CLY) events and workshops. She is a member of the Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors and the Wilbur Cross Medal Selection Committee.

In line with the 2022-23 GSAA Board goals, Chen seeks to expand participation in this event to broaden the WDIGFY brand by hosting more in-person events and increasing engagement with students. Events facilitated by CrossCampus will include organized informational interviews, mentoring, and coffee chats. GSAA also is prioritizing collaborations with the Office of Career Services (OCS) and CLY to expand online access and host virtual/in-person sessions regarding career paths post-Yale. The GSAA’s professional skills-building program will seek to assist students in strengthening aspects of their candidacy and approach to their job search. Finally, the board will work to strengthen its engagement with individual departments and programs and engage more international and recent alumni.

Chen is a Product Leader of Blockchain solutions for Healthcare and Life Sciences at IBM’s Innovation and Solution Incubation team. Her work was recognized as one of the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ by Science magazine in 2001. She was named as one of the top 35 technology innovators under the age of 35 worldwide by MIT’s Technology Review in 2005, the Best Researcher of the Year by Small Times magazine in 2006, and one of the top 26 tech women innovators at IBM in 2015. She’s an innovation catalyst with over 40 issued patents, 8 book chapters and 50+ journal and conference papers.

The GSAA is excited to welcome Chen as chairperson. Past chair James Shulman (’93 Ph.D., Renaissance Studies) will be receiving a 2022 Yale Alumni Association Leadership Award on November 10, 2022 in recognition of his service.