U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson
U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson was raised to put people before politics, and during her eight-plus terms in the House of Representatives she has done just that. She is the first Republican woman to represent Missouri in Congress, where she is a leading advocate for farm families and the promotion of America's agriculture, hunger relief, pro-life issues, and access to safe, affordable prescription drugs.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Jo Ann is the Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee and also sits on the Agriculture Subcommittee and Legislative Branch Subcommittee. She believes her extensive involvement in economic development and rural policy issues enables her to serve her constituents to the best of her abilities.
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.
Currently, Jo Ann serves as representative to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She is also an Honorary and Life Trustee of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A former Girl Scout, Jo Ann is a leading supporter of the organization in Congress. She is co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Congressional Hunger Center. Jo Ann is also 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 and Abigail Emerson Gray, and Alison, Jessica and Stephanie Gladney, and one stepson, Sam Gladney. Jo Ann is the proud grandmother of Cooper O'Brien Leger, Margaret Browning Gray and Curt William Leger. She lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.