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McNair Center

The McNair Center launches!

The McNair Center launches!.

The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation funds new center for entrepreneurship policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute

The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation has generously provided an $8 million endowment to establish the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The Baker Institute’s new McNair Center will be the research-oriented cornerstone of a larger, nationwide consortium of McNair Foundation-funded centers devoted to entrepreneurship education.

“We are honored that Bob and Janice  are making  this wonderful gift to the Institute,” said Secretary James A. Baker, III, honorary chair of the institute. “Once again, they are displaying unique vision and commitment in the fields of business, education and philanthropy. They are outstanding friends of Rice and inspirational leaders for the city of Houston.”

Entrepreneurship and innovation are critical drivers of economic growth and prosperity. The Baker Institute’s new McNair Center will develop and distribute data, and collect and conduct policy research, to better understand and promote entrepreneurship and innovation. It will also provide a forum for stakeholders throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem to debate ideas, share understanding and effect change.

Robert C. McNair Sr., the highly successful serial entrepreneur best known as the founder, chairman and CEO of the Houston Texans NFL franchise, said “This is an opportunity for us to make a real contribution to society; to help create an environment that empowers ingenuity and creativity, unleashes the productivity of private enterprise and builds sustainable economic growth.”

The Baker Institute has selected Dr. Edward J. Egan, most recently an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School and the innovation policy fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, to lead the new center as its first director.

“The McNair Center is truly transformational and greatly expands the capability of the Baker Institute to address the relevant and important policy challenges connected to innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth,” said Baker Institute Director Ambassador Edward Djerejian. “Under the leadership of Dr. Egan, our McNair Center will develop into one of the Baker Institute’s core research centers informing national and global policymakers.”

“The U.S. needs well-designed entrepreneurship and innovation policy to fire up its growth engines”, said Egan, who earned his Ph.D. in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business in 2012. “I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. McNair for their vision and incredible support, and Secretary Baker and Ambassador Djerejian for the opportunity to build this important new component of the Baker Institute.”


Click here to visit the McNair Center program page.