Yesterday, AARP’s board of directors announced Jo Ann Jenkins as its new CEO, effective September 1. She will be the first permanent female CEO in the association’s history. She replaces longtime CEO Barry Rand. Board chair Gail Aldrich lauded the move, saying “Jo Ann is an inspirational leader who proactively engages at all levels of the organization and is comfortable operating in the public eye.”
Jenkins said that one of her main goals will be to help AARP and its members navigate the “new normal” of retirement in today’s uncertain economy. “Over 40 percent of our members are no longer retired, so we know that it’s not just about retirement, but it’s about how do we secure a financial future that may or may not include retirement.”
Jenkins also plans to expand AARP’s presence outside of Washington through workshops and educational programs, saying “People want AARP to be with them every day in their community, not just here in Washington.”
Jenkins is currently EVP and COO at AARP. Before becoming COO in March of 2013, she was president of the AARP foundation. Prior to joining AARP, Jenkins was COO of the Library of Congress, where she spearheaded the National Book Festival and the Library of Congress Experience, two of the largest and most important projects in the Library’s recent history. In May of 2010, Jenkins was awarded the 11th Annual Women in Technology Award for her work at the Library, as well as the Library of Congress Distinguished Service Award.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Jenkins earned her B.A. from Spring Hill College, and graduated in 1998 from the Stanford Executive Program in the university’s graduate school of business.
For AARP’s press release and further details, click here.