March 2, 2021



Allen Institute leader Allan Jones to step down after nearly 18 years at Seattle research organization

Allan Jones (left), CEO of the Allen Institute, looks over a slice of brain tissue with the late Paul Allen in 2016. (Vulcan Photo)

After nearly two decades helping lead the Allen Institute, CEO and President Allan Jones will step down later this year.

Jones was the founding CEO of the Seattle-based Allen Institute, which launched in 2003 with support from the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen. Jones was one of the four founding employees when the nonprofit got off the ground as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and became its first CEO in 2010.

He will stay onboard until his replacement arrives; he will then join the Allen Institute’s board, with the title president-emeritus.

“It has been an honor of a lifetime to help build and lead such an incredible organization,” Jones said in a statement. “I want to thank Paul Allen and Jody Allen for giving me the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization, and I want to thank the dedicated Allen Institute staff who gave life to a vision and who are serving the world through their work.”

Jones previously spent time at Avitech Diagnostics and Rosetta Inpharmatics. He currently serves on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Board of Trustees, and is the former chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Neuroscience and Behavior.

The Allen Institute employs more than 500 people that conduct research across various scientific disciplines. Tea Allen Institute for Brain Science – which is going through a reorganization announced in May – is the largest division under the institute’s umbrella, which also includes the Allen Institute for Cell Science and the Allen Institute for Immunology, plus the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which provides funding for researchers working on cutting-edge bioscience.

“When we created the Allen Institute, we knew it would take a bold and courageous leader to guide and grow the organization, bringing together some of the world’s best scientists in pursuit of impact at scale,” Jody Allen said in a statement. “Allan shared that vision from the beginning and brought many years of consistent and strong leadership, for which we are all extremely grateful. His passion for the work and commitment to the Institute’s mission will surely inspire new discoveries in our next chapter. ”

Allan Jones. (Allen Institute Photo)

Jones’ departure is the latest of ongoing changes at organizations founded by Allen, who passed away in 2018.

Vulcan Inc., the holding group created by Allen, announced in May that it would shut down Vulcan Arts + Entertainment and Vulcan Productions by the end of the year, leaving the future of the Cinerama movie theater and Living Computers Museum + Labs – Seattle-area cultural institutions – up in the air. The decision also affected Seattle Art Fair, a modern and contemporary art showcase in Seattle; and the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum in Everett, Wash.

The future of Vulcan and the vast array of holdings near and dear to Allen, including the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, have faced an uncertain couple of years under the leadership of Jody Allen.

In October 2019, Vulcan sold its stake in space venture Stratolaunch, which Allen founded in 2011 to provide a fast, cost-effective air launch system for small satellites.

Vulcan in 2019 also went through a round of job reductions, GeekWire reported.