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Howard University MBA Alumnus Marchon Jackson Returns in Office of Research Leadership Role

Marchon Jackson_AVP Research_Howard University

WASHINGTON - Marchon Jackson (MBA ‘03) has returned to Howard University as associate vice president in the Office of Research. Jackson is expected to play a major role in driving changes and investments vital to Howard’s research ambitions.

Jackson has more than two decades of research experience in higher education, non-profit, and private industry. He was most recently the assistant vice president for sponsored programs at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Jackson’s experience at Maryland includes a six-year period where he managed the operations, human resources, finances, and pre/post-award functions of the University Affiliated Research Center, or UARC.

His office managed approximately $700 million in sponsored research post-award functions, including billing, financial compliance, reporting, cost accounting, and rate development.

“It’s important for the community to know the importance of research,” Jackson said. “The vision is to build infrastructure that is sustainable for Howard University in the years to come. I’m thinking about the legacy for our children and our children’s children.” 

Last year, the U.S. Department of Defense made history with the selection of Howard University as the nation’s 15th UARC. The award establishes a five-year, $90 million research contract agreement between Howard University and the Department of Defense. The Air Force specifically funds the Howard UARC and will specialize in research on tactical autonomy.

Jackson is a native of Detroit, home of the U.S. auto industry. He said most of his family members had jobs tied to the industry. Jackson’s  business interest  came from watching the people around him respond to the pressure and  constant swings in job availability due to the auto industry’s unpredictability.  During this time, Jackson realized he had a knack for numbers and the ability to translate them to non-financial people. 

“I was really good with math, and I stuck with it,” Jackson said. “My core skillset is numbers and communication, and I always wanted to learn money, finance, and how business worked. An entrepreneurial attitude, sense of adventure, and hustle has always been a part of who I am.”

Jackson said his abilities and interests started to come together at the Howard University School of Business.  He recalled the difficulty of night classes and commuting the long distance from his home in Woodbridge, Va.

“Howard University pushed me in many ways that I didn’t expect,” Jackson said. “The expectations were really high from the professors. For the first time in my college experience, the focus was on me being the best version of me. Excellence was the bar in the business school. Howard business school felt like it was designed to push what I believed I was capable of doing.”

In the Office of Research, Jackson will be focused on supporting the visions of senior vice president of research Bruce Jones, Ph.D., and the University’s leadership quest to build a sustainable R1 infrastructure for our institution. 

Over the past five years, Jones and his team have worked with faculty, research staff and external partners to grow the research enterprise at Howard University as it supports the exponential growth of campus research activity. 

“Mr. Jackson brings a background and level of expertise in grants and contracts administration, finance, and compliance that will enable us to significantly increase our institutional capacity to manage and sustain this growth with more effectiveness and efficiency,” Jones said. “The timing of his return to the mecca could not be better.”

Jackson noted that a future R1 designation, which denotes top-tier university research activity, would offer Howard faculty and students greater access to advanced research opportunities, increased funding and resources, such as  scholarships and facilities, and boost overall support for the Black academic community. 

Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall

Howard University Awarded $90 Million Contract by Air Force, DOD to Establish First-Ever University Affiliated Research Center Led by an HBCU