Meet Jo Ann Jenkins, The CEO Of AARP
Jo Ann Jenkins has quite an impressive resume,' where before she took the helm of the world’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization, she worked for 2 American Presidents. Shortly after graduating from Spring Hill College in 1980, she worked for President Ronald Reagan as a voter outreach worker on his during his campaign and took on a variety of positions during his presidency and that of President George H. Bush (#41). Jenkins served in key positions from an executive assistant at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, special assistant to then-Secretary of Transportation, Senator Elizabeth Dole from 1985 to 1987, and Director of Advocacy and Enterprise for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Her accolades continue from 1994-2010, where she became the senior adviser, chief of staff, and Chief Operating Officer of the Library of Congress! In 2001 she teamed up with then-First Lady Laura Bush to launch the National Book Festival. In 2008 she developed the Library of Congress Experience, which digitized precious American written works. Visitors to the library can now compare rough drafts of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution, with their final versions and see original handwritten corrections and margin notes made by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.
In 2010 Jenkins began her journey with the AARP, serving as President of the organization's charity foundation. Her big break with the company came in 2014 when she was appointed to lead the company in her current role as Chief Operating Officer, of AARP. Under Jenkins' tenure, AARP has evolved offering new benefits for its 38 million members that want to continue working. This initiative is designed to help members get work at employers with age-friendly employment practices as they continue the push to strengthen federal age discrimination laws.