Jean-Jacques Degroof’s career in the field of financial services overflows with accomplishments. A native of Belgium, Degroof graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration summa cum laude from the Catholic University of Louvain. Subsequently, he began studying for his Master of Labor Studies in order to pursue interests in the way social interactions affect marketplace behavior, and by 1983, he had completed it. After going to New York to gain some practical experience in the banking sector, Degroof returned to Belgium to take the position of Credit Analyst at Générale de Banque. By 1985, he had risen to the position of Staff Member of the Executive Committee. The next year, Jean-Jacques Degroof left Générale de Banque to become Human Resources Manager at Banque Degroof, where, in 1993, he was promoted to Private Banking Manager.
Taking a break from banking at that point, Jean-Jacques Degroof returned to the United States, where he resumed study of business management at the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His studies led him to develop further his interests in entrepreneurship, the transfer of technology from academic settings into the public sector, and the management of innovation and technology. These inquiries led Degroof to take another Master’s degree, a Master of Management, and encouraged him to pursue a PhD. He earned his doctorate in Management in 2002 and thereafter joined the Local Innovation System research project and the Benchmarking Innovation research project as a researcher at the MIT Industrial Performance Center. In 2003, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University welcomed him as a Fellow of the Center for Business and Government, and by 2005, Jean-Jacques Degroof had attained a number of important positions. He began serving as President of the Degroof-Van Massenhove Foundation (a nonprofit organization in Belgium). In 2009, he became a member of the editorial board of the French management journal L’Expansion Entrepreneuriat (since then retitled Revue Entreprendre – Innover). Around the same period, he was a lecturer at the Audencia Management School and the Ecole des Mines in Nantes, France.