Innovate@BU Innovator in Residence Program

Innovate@BU is the University-wide initiative to enable all BU Terriers to become drivers of innovation in their own lives, careers, and communities. At Innovate@BU, we envision a world where all BU Terriers are equipped with innovation skills and an entrepreneurial mind-set, and are prepared to create meaningful impact in their careers and communities. In addition to providing a wide range of programs, workshops, competitions and other immersive opportunities for students to learn about problem-solving and entrepreneurship, Innovate@BU has also launched the Innovate in Residence program. 

The Innovator in Residence program is designed to give students access to influential and skilled individuals whom they otherwise might never interact with. Students have an opportunity to hear about and see firsthand how changemakers operate in their respective fields, and learn about different ways to measure and strive for success. 

Innovators in Residence serve for one academic year at the BUild Lab, and during that time, work on projects that are supported by the BUild Lab serving both the students’ and the Innovators’ goals. Additionally, all Innovators in Residence host monthly open office hours for any member of the BU community, and are available to work with other groups on campus. 

For more information on the Innovate@BU Innovator in Residence program, please contact Director of External Relations, Micaelah Morrill at

2021 Innovator in Residence

Jonathan L. Allen, J.D., M.T.S. and first generation college student, is a champion for equity and recognized as a social engineer and advocate. His beliefs surrounding transformative leadership, collective responsibility, political spirituality, and social and emotional intelligence have influenced individuals and groups throughout the world. He is Co-founder and Director of Development for The Leadership Brainery, a Boston-based nonprofit fostering equity by providing college-enrolled diverse young leaders, who are working for the greater good, with opportunities to advance their education, build inclusive networks, and gain access to impactful and high-wage careers. 

Photo by Sohyoung Park

Jonathan received his BS in Business Management from Grambling State University, his Master of Theological Studies degree from Southern Methodist University | Perkins School of Theology, and his JD from Boston University School of Law. 

Jonathan lives in Brighton, MA with his partner of eight years, Derrick Young Jr., a strategist and nonprofit executive.

During Jonathan’s residency, he will be participating in a number of BUild Lab programs, acting as a Judge, hosting monthly office hours and hosting a series of speaker talks with local changemakers and community leaders – both at the BUild Lab & in Boston.