Top One Percent: Shirley Ann Jackson

By Laurie Bennett

October 27, 2011 at 7:38am

Because of her high pay and outside board positions, we’ve written about Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson before.

Today we note her membership in the Top One Percent - a category of people who wield more influence than 99 percent of the other people in the Muckety database.

Jackson also qualifies under the broader definition of wealth.

Shirley Ann Jackson
Shirley Ann Jackson

She ranked eighth in national survey of college presidents’ pay last year. Her $1.6 million pay package at Rensselaer excluded compensation she received as a director of FedEx, IBM, Marathon Oil, Medtronic and Public Service Enterprise Group.

Jackson’s stock holdings in those companies alone make her a multimillionaire.

A physicist with a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jackson chaired the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Clinton administration.

In addition to her many corporate duties, she also sits on the boards of Brookings and the Smithsonian. President Obama appointed her to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She is also a member of the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board.

Rensselaer has gone to great lengths to keep her at the college, agreeing to replace the old presidential home, which was 4,884 square feet, with a more grand 9,600-square-foot building.

School officials said the old building, demolished last year, was too small to entertain prominent guests.

The Albany Times-Union reports that the $3.5 million project was financed with donations from Rensselaer trustees.

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