John F. "Jack" Rockart of Weston, MA and New London, NH passed away on February 3rd after a long illness. He was born in New York City in 1931, the only child of the late Janet R. and John R. Rockart. Jack graduated from Princeton University where he majored in the Woodrow Wilson School of Government. He went on to get his MBA from the Harvard Business School and earn a PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Between business school and his PhD he worked for IBM in Boston and as a Ford Foundation fellow in Nairobi, Kenya. After his PhD Jack stayed on at MIT where he helped found and later ran MIT's Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) for several decades. At MIT Jack reveled in the opportunity to help shape how managers used information technology, aid in the development of younger researchers, teach at the MIT Sloan School, and work with numerous companies. Much of his work revolved around his development of the concept and methods of Critical Success Factors (CSFS) which were widely adopted by companies and consulting organizations. Among the honors he received, two of the most meaningful to him were: being named to the George and Sandra Schussel chair at MIT in 1999; and being given the 2003 academic LEO award, granted by the largest organization in his field in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished contributions. Another lifetime interest of Jack's was the delivery of medical care. This interest is reflected in his many years as vice chairman of the board and chair of the Quality of Care committee at Tufts Medical Center. He held these positions actively until he died. Jack was passionate about his family, sports, and travel. He met the love of his life, Elise (Feldmann) while both were at IBM. They were married in September 1961 making plans to go somewhere in the developing world where they could make a significant contribution and experience other cultures. Jack found a Ford Foundation program (Fellows in Africa) run at the MIT Sloan School which assisted a small group of MBAs and lawyers each year in finding useful and challenging two year positions in Africa. He and Elise lived in Nairobi Kenya from 1962 to 1964 participating in both Kenya's and Uganda's independence events. Kenya quickly became a place they both loved as well as a highlight of their almost 53 years together. Jack will be greatly missed by his wife Elise, his daughter Elise "Liesl" Rockart of Cambridge, MA and her partner David Bernat, and by his son Scott Rockart, Scott's wife, Lauren Dunn Rockart and Jack's adored granddaughters, Elise "Ella," Lydia, and Carina Rockart all of Chapel Hill, NC. He is also survived by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ida and Fred Perabo of Kirkwood, Mo, his nieces Betsy and Susan Perabo, Susan's partner Sha'an Chilson and their children Brady Chilson and Chase Perabo, and by his cousin Julie Kierstine, all of whom he loved dearly. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Jack's memory made be made to the Tufts Medical Center Fund, 800 Washington Street, Box 231, Boston, MA 02111 or they may be directed to First Parish Church in Weston, 349 Boston Post Road, Weston MA 02493. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM on March 1st, 2014 at First Parish Church in Weston, MA. All are invited to greet the family at a reception following immediately afterward at the Weston Golf Club.
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Published in The Cambridge Chronicle from Feb. 25 to Mar. 4, 2014