Our Team

Margaret (Peggy) Brennan-Tonetta
Associate Vice President for Economic Development

Email:  mbrennan@rutgers.edu
Phone:  848-932-3776

Lori Dars
Associate Director of Economic Development 

Email:  lori.dars@rutgers.edu
Phone:  (848) 932-4481

Lori Dars provides leadership and support for programs and resources that facilitate collaborations between the University, industry, and government.  She is the Director of Rutgers NSF-funded  I-Corp Site and is the founder and organizer of Rutgers Entrepreneurship Coalition.  She works with stakeholder groups and regional networks.to identify programs that can build on current capabilities and resources to further develop entrepreneurship programs throughout the University, local community, and state.

Previously, she was a member of the Technology Commercialization Office as part of the New Ventures & Entrepreneurship team, providing guidance to faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs on funding programs and resources to encourage start-up company activity at Rutgers. She assisted internal groups and state organizations in growing Rutgers entrepreneurship ecosystem and was the marketing lead for numerous events and activities related to entrepreneurship at the university.  Prior to joining Rutgers, Lori worked in various industry positions in marketing and corporate communications, overseeing activities for a variety of products and services.  She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Delaware and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University.


Jessica Paolini
Assistant Director of Economic Development

Email:  jessica.paolini@rutgers.edu
Phone:  (848) 932-3555

Jessica Paolini joined the office in 2016. She manages the office's International Business Attraction program. She currently serves as a Vice President of the New Jersey Big Data Alliance, responsible for developing programs to enhance industry engagement, including an annual data sciences career fair and workforce forum. Previously, she was the Economic Development Manager for Choose New Jersey. In this role, Jessica supported domestic and international businesses in establishing or expanding operations in New Jersey. She specialized in global markets, having organized and participated in business attraction missions to Mexico, England, and Israel, among other locations.

Jessica is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Economic Development Council and is a past chair of the Young Professionals Advisory Committee. Jessica received an MA in Political Science from Villanova University and earned BA degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science at East Stroudsburg University. Jessica is currently pursuing a PhD in Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.