Jan is the Executive Director at the Ion, the epicenter for Houston’s innovation ecosystem and currently anchors the 16-acre Ion District that is being developed by the Rice Management Company. The Ion serves as a hub focusing on quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations, academics, and the broader Houston community. Jan has over 25 years of leadership experience supporting innovators and enabling research and life-long learning engagements in computing, data science, and information technology. Prior to joining Ion, Odegard served as the Executive Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University, where he focused on building strategic partnerships to serve as catalysts for research, education, and external engagements in data and computing. During his tenure at Rice, Odegard also served as the Associate VP for Research Computing from 2015 until he joined the Ion. While at Rice, Odegard worked with colleagues in the industry to launch the Oil & Gas High-Performance Computing Conference series in spring 2008 and then to launch the Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference series in fall 2017. Odegard received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University in 1996, earned a Bachelor of Science degree (1987) and a Master of Science degree (1990), both from Texas A&M University in electrical engineering and holds an associate degree (1986) in electrical engineering from Telemark College of Engineering, Porsgrunn, Norway.