Carnegie Mellon University
July 27, 2012

Press Release: Succession of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Carnegie Mellon University

Mawhinney Follows Boni as Chief of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship

Contact: Mark Burd / 412-268-3486 /

PITTSBURGH—David S. Mawhinney, assistant teaching professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, has been named the new executive director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship. Mawhinney, who received his MBA with distinction at the Tepper School in 1990, succeeds Art Boni, the John R. Thorne Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship, who has led the center through a period of steady growth and successful outreach since 2005.

"The Donald Jones Center is a critical component of the university's Greenlighting Startups initiative and a cornerstone of our entrepreneurial teaching and research," said Robert M. Dammon, dean of the Tepper School. "Their collaborative work across campus and community has become a vital link in transferring technology and innovation into the marketplace and the center exemplifies the ecosystem of entrepreneurship that is part of our culture at Carnegie Mellon."

In the early 1970s, the Tepper School, formerly known as the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA), became one of the first schools in the country to teach entrepreneurship.  These efforts have evolved, and today, along with creation of the Donald Jones Center, the Tepper School offers one of the premier entrepreneurship programs in higher education. Under Boni's leadership the center has become widely known for its research and contributions toward improving the commercialization of technology, including the i6 Agile Innovation System, a partnership between Carnegie Mellon and Innovation Works funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers recognized the Donald Jones Center with an award for Excellence in Enterprise Creation in 2011.  

"I was fortunate to be a entrepreneurship student of Jack Thorne's at GSIA in 1989, when Don Jones gave the gift to establish the center," Mawhinney said.  "Upon my graduation in 1990, Don and I started my first entrepreneurial venture and he has remained my life-long mentor. Carnegie Mellon is an amazing engine of innovation and leading the center is an opportunity to give back to my alma mater while helping the next generation of entrepreneurs prepare for their journey in building successful startup companies."

Mawhinney becomes the fourth director of the center, after serving a year as its associate director. Boni will continue to work directly with the center to advance an academic agenda in entrepreneurship and innovation that will focus on developing and teaching new models for entrepreneurship and furthering entrepreneurial research in partnership with Tepper School faculty and collaborators.

"It is an honor to work with such talented colleagues, students and faculty to bring innovation to the marketplace and to see the Donald Jones Center continue to grow as a highly recognized and respected contributor to innovation in the broad community," Boni said. "We have created a unique and flourishing entrepreneurial environment at Carnegie Mellon."

The center is currently working with partners in CMU's Greenlighting Startups initiative on a new program named the Launch|CMU, an entrepreneurial summit, which will be hosted by the university on March 21-23, 2013.