Jedidiah Francis was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines, holds a a DPhil degree in Statistics from Oxford University and is currently Head of Data Science at ASOS.com (an online retail store based in London, UK).
But recently Francis was put in the spotlight after his wife, Angeline Francis Khoo, the daughter of Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, revealed that she gave up her share of the family fortune to marry Francis.
For those who have no idea of Francis’ background and achievements, many of their comments were centred on the typical tabloid style interpretation and perception of this young man.
Francis’ story is one of inspiration and therefore I would like to shed a positive spotlight on this young man.
In 2000, Francis graduated from the St Vincent Community College as one of two ‘Students of the Year’ in 2000, receiving awards for being the best Biology and Mathematics student.” A year later, he joined the British army in February 2001 serving in the engineer regiment.
In July 2002 he left the British army and a year later enrolled at Queen Mary University of London to read for a BSc degree in Biology with Business Management. Francis graduated with first class honors in 2006.
And Francis is smart; he developed a statistical model to describe the proliferation of transposons or “jumping genes” in mosquito populations. He also worked alongside leading researchers to develop statistical models of HIV genetic evolution.
In 2012, Francis joined Expedia as a Senior Quantitative Analyst. A year later he moved to ASOS.com as Lead Data Scientist, was promoted to Principal Data Scientist and Personalisation Lead in 2015 and then in May 2016, he became Head of Data Science.
As the saying goes don’t just read the headlines, read the story. Thank you Jedidiah for being an inspiration to young men across the Caribbean, who often times are judged on the basis of their skin colour or economic background.