Jessica Shepard Watts
University of North Texas
Jessica Shepard Watts is Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the University of North Texas (UNT), where she leads enterprise-wide engagements with industry and foundations. In a central office, her team manages philanthropic and research partnerships that engage companies and foundations across fourteen academic schools and 35 centers & institutes.
Prior to UNT, she previously spent six years at the University of Texas at Dallas, most recently leading the central corporate relations team as Senior Director of Corporate Relations. Watts began working in higher education in 2012 after six years at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, where she managed the largest corporate giving campaigns and a portfolio of major gift donors.
Watts currently serves as Co-President of the NACRO Board of Directors, following her role as NACRO Marketing Committee Chair and service on the Conference and Professional Development Committees. She also serves on several chamber and nonprofit boards. Watts holds a bachelor’s degree from UT Arlington, a master’s degree from UT Dallas and is currently pursuing her PhD in public affairs at UT Dallas.