Jo Ann Emerson
On March 2, 2013, Jo Ann Emerson became the fifth CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Jo Ann was raised to put people before politics and during her eight-plus terms in the House of Representatives she did just that. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Jo Ann was the Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee and also served on the Agriculture Subcommittee and Legislative Branch Subcommittee. Her extensive involvement in economic development and rural policy issues enabled her to fully represent all her constituents in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District.
After earning a B.A. in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1972, Jo Ann pursued an active career in public affairs and grassroots communications. In her professional career, Jo Ann has served as the senior vice president of public affairs for the American Insurance Association, as director of state relations and grassroots programs for the small-business oriented National Restaurant Association and as deputy communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
While in Congress, Jo Ann served as representative to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She is also an Honorary and Life Trustee of Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and as a former Girl Scout, Jo Ann is a leading supporter of that organization. She was co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Congressional Hunger Center and a founding member of the Bipartisan Congressional Retreat, whose mission is to foster better relations in Congress with Members from each party.
As a wife, mother and grandmother, family is the foremost priority in Jo Ann’s life. She is married to Ron Gladney, an attorney, and is the proud mother of two daughters, Victoria and Katharine, five stepdaughters, Elizabeth Emerson Leger, Abigail Emerson Gray, Alison and Stephanie Gladney, Jessica Gladney Spaniol, and one stepson, Sam Gladney. Jo Ann is the proud grandmother of Cooper O’Brien Leger, Curt William Leger, Margaret Browning Gray and Barrett “Bear” Poe.