Jacqueline Olich

Cues and Views

Connector, catalyst, entrepreneur and historian Jacqueline Olich, in brief.

May 16, 2022
2 Minutes
Jacqueline Olich

Home: North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region.  Age: 50-ish.  Birthplace: Tarrytown, NY. Organization: RTI International.  Title: Vice President, University Collaborations.  Alma mater: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MA and PhD); Lafayette College (AB).  Languages spoken: English and Russian.

Current project: Landscaping our six-acre property in Orange County, North Carolina, complete with a Cowboy Cauldron and a custom-designed garden shed. Recent recognition: Received RTI International President’s Award for leading Forethought: The RTI $5M+ Research Challenge.  Recent professional development: Founding Member, Chief.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Became a member of xElle Ventures, an early-stage Angel fund for women founders developed by women founders, executives and investors.  Hobbies: Pickleball and Pickles, the Yorkipoo.  Recent unique acquisition: Zsudayka Nzinga painting.

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Enthusiastic.  Moral compass: Tolstoy’s “The Three Questions.”  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Win-Win. What is your greatest joy? To love and be loved.  What is your guilty pleasure? Fantasy Football. What natural talent have you neglected? Sketching.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Shepherds.  How do you relieve stress? Riding around in my red convertible with Pickles.

What was your first paying job? Started “Honor Roll Baby Sitting”.  What was your favorite college course? Basic Social Questions (aka, How I Met my Husband).  What book have you repeatedly read? The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My diplomas.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? If you win the rat race, you are still a rat.  What company or organization do you most admire? World Central Kitchen.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? My father immigrating to the United States.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

Advancing women as leaders.

What change would you like to see in the world? A sense of urgency about mitigating climate change and building more resilient systems.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Be kind.   What mega-trend most concerns you? Misogyny.

What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Gal Gadot.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A writer.  What day in your life would you choose to re-live? First day of kindergarten.

Personal mission: Relationships matter.  Personal motto: Monitor and adjust.  Favorite quote: “Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred” (Václav Havel).  Desired epitaph: She really did it.

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