Judith Cone


Judith Cone is special assistant to the chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship, vice chancellor of commercialization and economic development, and interim director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. She leads the campus in strengthening a university-wide culture of innovation and entrepreneurship so that Carolina is a place where innovators thrive. The university is committed to making an impact on the lives of people in North Carolina and around the world.

Before coming to Carolina, Cone served as vice president of emerging strategies and entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, capping a 15-year career with the Foundation. During her tenure, Cone led many of the foundation’s signature education and entrepreneurship initiatives and programs, including a business start-up training program that has been used worldwide by millions of entrepreneurs; an award-winning Web resource for entrepreneurs; and the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which has transformed the culture on university campuses by making entrepreneurship education accessible to students and faculty across all fields of study. As global ambassador for the Kauffman Foundation, Cone worked with leaders around the world to help transform economies and was a sought-after speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship.

For the previous 12 years, Cone co-founded two management consulting firms serving Fortune 500 clients. Her first career was as a learning disabilities teacher working with disadvantaged children in a low-income area, where she experienced first-hand the pervasive and devastating effects of poverty on children and families.

Cone writes and lectures nationally and internationally on entrepreneurship and innovation.