WASHINGTON, DC — AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins is changing the conversation around the realities of aging in America. In short, Jenkins is on a mission to “disrupt aging.” Featured on the cover of the March/April edition of Washington SmartCEO magazine, Jenkins discusses her vision for AARP – the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, focused on the needs of people 50-plus; and how she’s poised to lead the association to new heights.
“We want to disrupt aging – to challenge the perceptions of aging in America – allowing us to embrace our age and feel good about where we are in life. I am excited to lead AARP as we explore new territory while staying true to our roots of making a difference in people’s lives and delivering positive social change,” said Jenkins. “AARP works hard every day to make this happen through our membership offerings, information and services, and advocacy work.”
Jenkins’ “enterprise-wide strategy” for AARP is designed to define priorities, align processes and allocate resources in support of Americans 50-plus and their families. At the same time Jenkins is directing the organization’s focus on three issues important to her and to America’s 50-plus population, including AARP’s membership: health security, financial resilience, and personal fulfillment or, said simply, health, wealth, and self.
Prior to her Sept., 2014 appointment as CEO, Jenkins served as chief operating officer for the organization. Jenkins, a proven innovator, joined AARP in 2010 as president of AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity. She led that 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. Prior to joining AARP Foundation, she served on the board of directors of AARP Services Inc., AARP’s wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary, beginning in 2004, becoming its chair in 2008.
With more than 25 years of extensive leadership, management, planning and business experience and a strong sense of social mission, she has repeatedly transformed organizations and led innovative policies at top levels of the nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors. She is an award-winning leader and insightful manager known for her ability to set priorities and get things done.
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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.