Pratt Trailblazers: Jimmie Lenz

7/5/24 Pratt School of Engineering

Jimmie Lenz embraced the transformative potential of blockchain technology and digital assets early on—a vision that ultimately reshaped his career trajectory and brought him to Duke University

Pratt Trailblazers: Jimmie Lenz
Jimmie Lenz

Jimmie Lenz stands as a luminary guiding the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University into the next frontier of finance and technology. As the executive director of the Duke Financial Technology (FinTech) master’s program, Lenz has consistently been recognized among the “Top 10 Crypto & Blockchain Minds” of the year by Rebellion Research, a testament to his profound influence in the industry.

With over 25 years of experience, Lenz’s journey began on the trading floors, navigating the complexities of equity and derivatives with a keen eye for strategic opportunities. His ascent to senior management roles within the traditional finance sector speaks volumes of his acumen, having led NYSE broker dealers, served in roles such as chief risk officer and chief credit officer, and spearheaded predictive analytics initiatives for major wealth management firms in the US.

However, it was Lenz’s foresight that led him to embrace the transformative potential of blockchain technology and digital assets early on—a vision that would ultimately reshape his career trajectory and bring him to Duke University. Here, he leads by example, not only as an educator but as a catalyst for innovation.

Lenz’s impact extends beyond the classroom and into the space of public discourse. As co-host of the popular ‘Coffee and Crypto’ podcast, and as an influential voice in the field, Jimmie Lenz leads the organization of the ‘Digital Assets at Duke’ Conference—a platform for meaningful dialogue among industry experts, policymakers and researchers. Hosted by Duke Engineering and the Duke Financial Economics Center, the conference serves as a neutral ground for fostering debate and discussion in an academic setting.

Lenz’s dedication to innovation is not confined within the walls of academia. He has testified before the House Financial Services Committee, advocating for modernization and inclusivity in financial services—a testament to his commitment to shaping policy and driving change on a global scale.

In Lenz’s own words, “The US has always led with innovation, not regulation.” It is this ethos that propels him forward, challenging the status quo and inspiring others to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.”

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The story of Duke is one of its people. Their accomplishments over the course of the first hundred years have propelled us to where we are today. Trailblazers are the faculty and staff leading us into the next century.

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