Jennifer FOIL

Director of Workforce Education, Discovery Partners Institute

Jennifer is DPI’s Director of Workforce Education, which is focused on increasing Chicago’s digital talent supply and drive representative economic growth in the region through innovative, mastery-oriented upskilling programs and services designed to match skills with company needs.

Previously, Jennifer worked at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies where she led work-based learning and apprenticeship efforts for the state of Illinois, specifically the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board, where the emphasis of all programs is providing sustainable living wages and career pathways to underrepresented populations.

Prior to NIU, Jennifer worked as a Systems Engineer for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, now Huntington Ingalls Industries, where she served in a variety of capacities such as human systems integration, requirements analysis and management, system design, integration, testing, configuration management, and more. Before Northrop Grumman, Jennifer worked with The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development and the Workplace Learning and Performance Institute teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses, working with department heads and the NASA John C. Stennis Space Center’s National Workforce Development Education and Training Initiative (NWDETI) to develop a competency model for the Geospatial workforce, and performing cost benefit analyses on internal training programs for individual companies. Prior to USM, Jennifer was an Oracle consultant to companies replacing legacy financial systems with Oracle Financials ERP, where she supported requirements management, user experience design, testing, and the design, development, and implementation of reskilling employees.

Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in International Development with an emphasis in Workforce Development from The University of Southern Mississippi. She also has a M.S. in Systems Engineering Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) "Educational Consortium for Product Development Leadership in the 21st Century" (PD21).