Springfield, Ohio -
Devoted to service in both her personal and professional life, Columbus City Attorney Janet E. Jackson, a 1975 graduate of Wittenberg University, will now serve her community as the new president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Central Ohio.
Appointed to the post yesterday, Jackson, 49, becomes the first woman and the first African American to lead the local United Way, which serves 69 organizations in the Columbus area and is the 14th largest United Way organization in the nation. She will leave her elected position on Jan. 10 and begin her new duties on Jan. 13, 2003.
"My passion has always been serving the children and families of our community," Jackson said. "Far too often people look to the government alone to solve all of our needs. I believe we must each take action, privately and professionally, to help our families, our neighbors and our community. And this new opportunity with the United Way allows me the chance to focus on that mission."
The first woman elected Columbus city attorney, Jackson was also the first African American judge in Franklin County. She served on the board of United Way for 11 years and previously chaired the organization's Truancy Task Force and its Safety Vision Council. She continues to serve in leadership roles with the Coalition Against Family Violence, and she has been a former trustee in several community organizations, including the YWCA and Action for Children.
While a student at Wittenberg, Jackson was an officer with Concerned Black Students and a member of Mortar Board, a national honorary for seniors who demonstrate scholarship, leadership and service. She regularly credits her alma mater with inspiring her to serve others.
"There is no limit to the ways we can serve others; there are only limits on what we are willing to do" she said during her 2001 Wittenberg Series address to the campus community.
An emeritus member of the Wittenberg board of directors, Jackson received a Wittenberg Alumni Citation in 2002 for her service to the university. She has also been recognized for a variety of other contributions, including her work on the university's recently completed, highly successful $75 million Defining Moments Campaign.
A member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Columbus Education Association, Jackson received her law degree from George Washington University.
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