Jo Ann Jenkins is executive vice president and chief operating officer of AARP. She also serves as president of AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity. As chief operating officer she is responsible for developing an enterprise-wide strategy that includes defining and facilitating operational priorities, as well as maximizing AARP’s mission. She oversees 10 of AARP’s key programs, including strategic planning, management and coordination of AARP’s multiple member-facing distribution channels, technology and digital operations, and development of an innovation strategy.
Jenkins, a proven innovator, joined AARP Foundation in 2010 and has led the organization’s far-reaching development and social impact initiatives, including Drive to End Hunger, a national effort by AARP and AARP Foundation to help the millions of older Americans who struggle with hunger every day. Under her leadership, the foundation’s overall donor base increased by 90 percent over two years.
With more than 25 years of extensive leadership, management, planning and business experience, Jenkins is well known in philanthropic, public and private sectors. She came to AARP Foundation from the Library of Congress, where she had been its chief operating officer and second in command since 2007, responsible for managing the library’s day-to-day operations, 4,000-person staff and $600 million budget.
During her 15-year tenure at the Library of Congress, she developed and directed two of its most renowned projects, the National Book Festival and the Library of Congress Experience, the largest and most complex program in its 210-year history. In May 2010 she was recognized by the technology industry with the 11th Annual Women in Technology Award for her innovative leadership on the Library of Congress Experience. She is also a recipient of the Library of Congress Distinguished Service Award.
From 1990 to 1993, she directed USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Enterprise. She began her federal government career in May 1981 at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and in 1987 joined the U.S. Department of Transportation.
She became a member of AARP Services Board of Directors in 2004 and its chair in 2008, completing her service in May 2010. She is on the board of directors of Living Cities, an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions. She was a delegate and founding fellow to the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program and a 1999 graduate of Leadership America. She is a Malcolm Baldrige Fellow (2013).
A native of Mobile, Ala., she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College there. She is a 1998 graduate of the Stanford Executive Program, offered by the university’s Graduate School of Business.