Janet E. Jackson spent 14 years as president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio, one of the largest United Way organizations in the country. She was the first woman and the first African American to lead the organization.
Prior to coming to United Way, Janet served six years as Columbus City Attorney, a first for a woman in Columbus. Her election to that office was also a first for an African American. As Columbus City Attorney, she served as the City’s chief legal advisor.
Before her appointment as City Attorney, Janet served nearly ten years as a Franklin County Municipal Court judge, making her the first African-American female judge in Franklin County history. She holds a B.A. degree from Wittenberg University and a J.D. degree from The National Law Center at George Washington University.
Under Janet’s leadership, United Way of Central Ohio steadily expanded its position as an organization that goes far beyond fundraising to mobilize its community to comprehensively address the root causes of poverty and create lasting, measureable change. She has been instrumental in educating local business and community leaders about poverty in central Ohio and in inspiring them to join with United Way in developing an integrated approach to providing the opportunities people need to rise above poverty.
Her honors and awards include: Allies of Equality Award from Equality Ohio, Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA of Columbus, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Columbus Education Association,
2013 Professional Woman of the Year by the Women of Color Foundation and Woman of the Year by the Niagara Foundation. She was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001. She also received the 2015 Mortar Board Alumni Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Capital University Law School. She was named Outstanding Head of Diversity in the Columbus Business First Diversity in Business Awards and won the Champions of Diversity Legend Award.
Janet is member of the board of Installed Building Products (a publically traded company) and chair of its compensation committee. She also serves on the board of Wittenberg University. She served as a member of the Task Force to Prevent Family Homelessness. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum, IWF Ohio and Women Corporate Directors. She is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio and of the Columbus Community Trust Project Task Force. She also serves on the Siemer Institute National Advisory Council and on the board of the Jazz Arts Group.