Janet Holston

Janet Holston, Senior Advisor, credits her entrepreneurial mindset and love of new ideas to a diverse career spanning municipal government, business consulting and higher education. She began her career as an urban planner and city housing department director in South Bend, Indiana. After moving to Phoenix, Arizona she owned a consultancy focused on strategic planning, grants and project management services for entrepreneurs. She was a longtime board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in Phoenix where she helped reestablish NAWBO’s Women’s Enterprise Foundation and created its grantmaking program. In 2005, she was invited to join Arizona State University (ASU) and spent over a decade as part of its dynamic leadership, first working in research administration and development to start up a new research center and in economic development leading cross-disciplinary grant proposal development. Later, she served as strategist, administrator and liaison in the ASU Foundation and ASU President’s Office on a range of new projects and partnerships in art and design, community and economic development, health and higher education. Most recently at UNC-Chapel Hill she worked with the School of Government on new initiatives and with Innovate Carolina as a social innovation task force and Innovate Carolina Network member. Born and raised in North Carolina and Virginia, Janet has a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Arizona State University. She was a longtime evaluator and juror for the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Awards of Excellence program and a founding member of the National Association of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).