Jackie Jenkins-Scott

Dr. Jenkins-Scott was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Health Care Inequalities in America.

On July 1, 2004, Jackie Jenkins-Scott became the thirteenth President of Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts-a private college with a mission to improve the lives of children and families. President Jenkins-Scott has been a passionate advocate in fulfilling the unique and compelling mission of the College.

Under President Jenkins-Scott’s leadership, Wheelock has strengthened its core undergraduate and graduate academic programs, enhanced the undergraduate experience, elevated community and civic engagement projects, and expanded the College’s reach internationally. A renewed interest in public policy has improved the reputation and influence of the College. She has emphasized cross disciplinary collaboration and community partnerships.

New initiatives to increase undergraduate enrollment and strengthen education and student life during President Jenkins-Scott’s tenure were built on the recommendations of college-wide strategic planning efforts completed in 2005 and 2012. As a result, undergraduate, on campus enrollment has nearly doubled, and co-curricular programs significantly expanded including the introduction of a robust male athletic program. Increased resources for financial aid, a commitment to diversity and student retention led to the establishment of the Office of Student Success and Institutional Diversity.

Support for academic programs has been an important priority for President Jenkins-Scott. Reorganization of the College’s professional departments and the establishment of a new Center for Scholarship and Research have provided additional support for faculty research and scholarship. A new center for innovation and community support, Aspire Institute, has resulted in significant increases in resources and new program opportunities in Massachusetts and beyond.

Jenkins-Scott’s strong belief in international engagement and civic involvement led to the establishment of the highly successful International Visiting Scholars program which brings to campus scholars from all over the world, and the International Service Learning Program which provides Wheelock Students with opportunities for short-term international service experiences. In 2013, Wheelock held its inaugural international conference, Global Challenges and Opportunities Facing Children, Youth, and Families, which brought more than 550 educators, human rights activists, philanthropists, policy makers, and world leaders to the campus. With the new civic engagement focus, the College made a ten-year commitment to rebuilding New Orleans which includes twice annual trips of students and faculty to New Orleans. New innovative international baccalaureate and Master’s programs in education has increased by four fold the number of students abroad receiving Wheelock degrees.

Under President Jenkins-Scott’s leadership, existing facilities have been renovated and the state-of-the-art Campus Center and Resident Hall and the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation were constructed. Improvements in campus landscape, including the addition of several major works of outdoor sculpture has enhanced an already beautiful urban campus.

President Jenkins-Scott’s commitment to Wheelock’s outreach to alumni, parents, and community friends has strengthened existing relationships and welcomed new friends and supporters. The College has significantly increased annual giving, raised major new funds for special projects and completed the largest capital campaign in the history of the College raising $82M, exceeding its goal by $2M.

From 1983 until 2004, Jenkins-Scott served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts, one of Boston’s largest community based health and human service agency serving the City’s most vulnerable populations. Under her leadership, the health center is now a national model for integrated comprehensive health and human services. Prior to that position, she held several positions with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Departments of Public and Mental Health. As a community leader, public health advocate and innovative administrator, she has been a nationally known figure for nearly 30 years.

A native of Flint, Michigan, Jenkins-Scott received her B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University, a Masters of Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work and completed a Post Graduate Research Fellowship at Radcliffe College. She received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Education from Wheelock College in 2003, when she served as the Commencement speaker. In addition to Wheelock, she holds Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Suffolk University, Northeastern University, Bentley University, Mount Ida College and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Jenkins-Scott has served on many professional, civic and community boards. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Boston Foundation, The Kennedy Library Foundation and Museum, Schott Foundation, Tufts Health Plan and Century Bank.

She has received numerous awards and citations, including Boston Business Journal’s ‘Women of Influence’ Award in December of 2014, the 2014 Medal of Honor from the National Center for Race Amity, an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the 2010 Visiting Nurse Association of Boston Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2010 Color Magazine Change Agent Award. She is a recipient of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Legacy of Leadership award and the Pinnacle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She has received The Massachusetts Red Cross Clara Barton Humanitarian Award and the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award. In 2004, Jenkins-Scott received the Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award.

She and her husband, Jim Scott, reside in Brookline, Massachusetts and they have two adult children.