It’s a big and endless job responsibility to bear: “Leave the world better than you found it.”
That’s one of the mantras and operating principles of Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, the multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California. While many workers might be daunted or even amused by such a directive, his employee of three years, Lisa Perez Jackson (E ’83), finds inspiration in the broad goal.
Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, says she starts by breaking down the broad goal into more manageable pieces.
“I almost look at it in classic engineering fashion, where you have to come in and say, what does that mean? How do you focus that into places where we can really change things?” she said, noting that Apple wants to espouse meaningful and impactful projects that actually make a difference in people’s lives.
The company’s core values, all of which touch Jackson’s role, include accessibility of products (“so that everyone has a right to use technology”), education, environmental stewardship, inclusion and diversity, privacy, and supplier responsibility.
ENGINEERING ROCK STAR
Jackson, a New Orleans native and member of the Board of Tulane and the School of Science and Engineering’s Board of Advisors, returned to her hometown in late June to speak at the 4,000-attendee American Society for Engineering Education conference.
Her arrival at the convention center that day was typical New Orleans: It was pouring rain and a brass band was playing in the background. But if the weather and the music disrupted her train of thought en route to an interview and then the day’s keynote speech, an onlooker would not have noticed. And yes, there were onlookers: Engineering rock stars have their fans, too.
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