Jim Cafone ’88, M.S. ’90

Major: B.S. Industrial Engineering, M.S. Manufacturing Engineering

Career: Vice President, Supply Network Services, Pfizer Inc.

When a Ministry of Health in Africa wanted to vaccinate thousands of children against meningitis, it was URI alumnus Jim Cafone ’88, M.S. ’90, who delivered the vaccines from manufacturing plants thousands of miles away.

Cafone is vice president of supply network services at pharmaceutical powerhouse Pfizer and leads a global logistics network that spans 90 plants, 300 external supplies and 175 distribution centers all connected by more than 2,100 trade lanes. More simply put – he and his team ensure life-saving medications reach their destinations at carefully defined temperatures, no matter what volcanic eruptions, tsunami devastation, terrorist attacks or other obstacles stand in their way.

He never dreamed of such a responsibility while growing up in northern New Jersey, but engineering intrigued him and then URI enticed him with its close-knit community and direct access to faculty members. URI gave him a global perspective that he relied upon when his career took him to three European countries and locations across the U.S.

“The University of Rhode Island got me where I am today. It helped me think big and drive myself further than I ever imagined,” he said. Now, he’s in a great position to keep his eye on URI grads as potential employees. “I look for students with a good education, work experience and street smarts. URI gives you that.”



Senior Gabriella Cortes, 22, started her internship at the R.I. Coalition Against Domestic Violence on the same day a group of 15 women who’d survived abuse were starting to write a script.