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Jihan Jenkins
Jihan Jenkins

In-House Counsel 2023: Jihan Jenkins

Public Company

Blink on Jihan Jenkins and she’ll be trying something different!

Jenkins is being honored for her work as associate general counsel at Pentair, a global provider of residential and commercial water-treatment products. However, in January, she transitioned to a new role at the company that combines her love of law with her love of technology.

Jenkins accepted a new role as segment innovation officer at Pentair, a position involving developing future-focused product innovation aligning with the company’s mission to “create a better world for people and the planet through smart, sustainable water solutions.”

A chemical engineering major at the University of Michigan, she says her new job responsibilities suit her desire to be more involved with developing business strategies that will produce continued growth at Pentair.

“It’s a tribute to Pentair that they are willing to look more broadly at your skill set as opposed to your title or what your job experiences have been in the past,” she said.

Jenkins, a graduate of Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, joined Pentair in July 2020 as associate general counsel for intellectual property. She was assigned the lead role in creating an in-house IP legal team of patent agents supported by technology analysts. Leaving the legal department at Pentair is bittersweet, she admitted, as she views the IP team and the entire legal team as “home.”

Despite her shift away from full-time legal work, she plans to remain engaged with the Twin Cities legal world through her participation with the nonprofit Twin Cities Diversity in Practice. Jenkins credits the organization for helping her get established and find purpose as a newcomer to Minnesota nearly 10 years ago.

“For the first five years of my career here in Minnesota, that’s where I met other lawyers of color and where I felt I could be me and learn about the community,” she said.

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