Jeong H. Kim

Former President, Bell Labs

Jeong Kim is an entrepreneur. His passions are education, technology, and public service.

As an immigrant, Dr. Kim has in many ways lived the American dream. He came to the United States in 1975 at the age of 14. Speaking little English, he found the transition to a foreign culture hard. But he was lucky enough to find teachers who recognized his ambition and appetite for work, and took a personal interest in him. They planted the seeds of a lifelong commitment to education. Dr. Kim enrolled at Johns Hopkins University and completed Bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, while simultaneously working as a partner in a technology start-up. On graduating, Dr. Kim decided he owed more than gratitude to his adopted country and he enrolled in the U.S. Navy. His seven years as a nuclear submarine officer enabled him to see more of the world, opened his eyes to the possibilities of advanced technology, and informed his understanding of security issues.

After his stint in the Navy, he joined AlliedSignal to work at the Naval Research Laboratory, and it was during his tenure there that he completed – in just two years – the first doctorate in reliability engineering awarded by the University of Maryland.

In 1992, the newly minted Dr. Kim made the leap that would define him as one of the nation’s most successful high-tech entrepreneurs. He launched Yurie Systems, a data networking company whose technology enabled telecom carriers to consolidate voice, video, and data in ways that would begin to realize the potential of their next-generation networks. He took the firm public in February 1997. In May of that year, Business Week ranked Yurie the #1 Hot Growth Company in the United States. In 1998, Lucent Technologies acquired Yurie for $1.1 billion. Dr. Kim was named Ernst & Young’s National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

Although he took a hiatus between 2001 and 2005 to teach engineering at the University of Maryland, Dr. Kim spent much of the next 15 years at Lucent, which became Alcatel-Lucent in 2006. As a corporate officer, he served in various positions including the President of the Carrier Networks division, President of the Optical Networking Group, and President of Bell Labs.  As the 11th President of Bell Labs, the most revered name in American innovation, Dr. Kim was the first leader recruited from outside Bell Labs in its 80+year history. In the face of challenging industry dynamics, he sought to bring an entrepreneurial vigor to the labs, transforming research interests into research ventures and keeping Bell Labs at the forefront of commercially oriented R&D.

As a leading figure in technology innovation, Dr. Kim has often been called on to lend his insights to the cause of national security and peace. He served on the U.S. Presidential Commission on Review of U.S. Intelligence, the External Advisory Board of the CIA, and the Award Committee for the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Additionally, he has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards including the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies, NASDAQ, In-Q-Tel, and Bankinter Foundation of Innovation.  He currently serves on the board of Schneider Electric SA.

At the high watermark of a career that has brought him many accolades – most recently being named a Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur, France’s highest decoration – Dr. Kim remains forward looking and energized by the opportunities around him. And now, as Chairman of Kiswe Mobile – a start-up focused on interactive mobile video –he has returned to his first love: building a company that will bring exciting new technology to the market.