Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
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Kenan Institute Leadership.

The programs and activities of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise are made possible through the support and leadership of its dedicated professionals. Our leaders publish in top academic journals, patent their discoveries and launch spinoff companies. Our management team provides the highest quality research and delivers the real-world knowledge to put ideas into practice.

Gregory W. Brown

Greg Brown is the director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. He also is the founder and research director of the Institute for Private Capital.

His research centers on financial risk and the use of financial derivative contracts as risk management tools. He also studies private investment strategies, such as hedge funds and private equity.

He research has been published in leading academic and practitioner finance journals, including The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, The Review of Financial Studies, The Journal of Derivatives, Financial Analyst Journal and RISK.


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Noel Greis

Jason Doherty, Ph.D., Director of the Startup Consulting Program at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise provides program oversight and mentorship to university faculty, students, entrepreneurs, and startups. In this role, he manages teams of MBA students who serve as consultants to university researchers and provide assistance in evaluating the commercial potential of high-impact technologies and guidance on commercialization through licensing and new venture creation. Jason has over a decade of life sciences research experience in academic and federal labs and over five years of experience in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. As a business incubation professional, Jason has provided technical assistance to over 100 researchers and entrepreneurs and a variety of support services for over 50 early-stage ventures. Jason received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University.

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Noel Greis

Noel Greis, Ph.D., Director, Digital Enterprise and Innovation, is an expert in global logistics and supply chain management and has won numerous awards for her research on logistics, global operations strategy, technology management, and technology commercialization. Her recent work targets logistics and sourcing in emerging markets around the world, including offshoring and outsourcing issues. Greis currently is partnering with Tsinghua University in Beijing to address issues of U.S.-China trade and is co-director of the UNC-Tsinghua Center for Logistics and Economic Development.

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Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson, Ph.D., Director of Education, Aging, and Economic Development Initiatives is a demographer known for linking population trends to the economy. He examines the growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation, and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues. When Frank Kenan tasked him to find role models for kids in Durham "other than basketball players and drug dealers," he founded the Global Scholars Academy. His most recent efforts include launching SAFE, a program to prevent falls by the elderly in North Carolina, with the added benefit of job creation and economic return on investment. He's the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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Brent Lane

Brent Lane, Economic Strategist, strives to make communities economically competitive and prosperous through strategic decisions and investments. He brings three decades of experience—in state and regional government and the nonprofit sector—to his work on the Eastern North Carolina Economic Development initiative. Lane has created innovative enterprises ranging from the first technology incubator in Research Triangle Park to the largest community development venture capital fund in the U.S. He currently serves on the N.C. Department of Revenue Oversight Committee.

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Mark Little

Mark Little, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Kenan Institute. He is also the permanent Director of NCGrowth. In these roles, he manages institute operations, supports high-growth entrepreneurs, helps communities grow and retain business, facilitates strategic regional economic development, and researches solutions to pressing energy, environment, and climate related problems. Little brings to this position a broad, international background in environmental and earth science, policy analysis, and renewable energy development. Immediately prior to joining the institute, he served as a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Cindy Reifsnider

Cynthia (Cindy) Reifsnider, is Director of Research Services and Knowledge Management at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and leads the Patent Landscaping and Market Evaluation program. She has more than 15 years' experience working with entrepreneurs, including 7 years at the Kenan Institute, 5 years at Hewlett-Packard, and 2 years at Virginia Tech (working with Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology). She has broad subject matter expertise across business and sciences. She is knowledgeable in multiple types of information research and analysis, including patents, scientific/technical literature, business and markets. She holds a Master of Science in Information Science and a BS in Meteorology.

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Deborah Stroman

Deborah Stroman, Ph.D., is Director of Sport Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement. In this role, she "creates and connects sport business people and ventures." Working closely with UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students and high-performing undergraduate students, she directs a Basketball Analytics Summit, researches the social and economic impact of sport in the state of North Carolina, teaches sport business curriculum, and promotes numerous on campus and Research Triangle Park collaborative opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and professionals working in the sport industry. With over three decades of business, entrepreneurship, and athletic industry experience, she provides a unique perspective and innovative strategies. Stroman is the 2013 UNC General Alumni McClinton Faculty/Staff Award winner. Visit us on the web at

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