Carolyn W. Jackson, CFCS, graduated from Kansas State University; from which she holds a B.S. in home economics education and an M.S. in family economics. Carolyn entered the family and consumer sciences field as an Extension educator for Harvey County in Newton, Kansas.
After being elected to various leadership positions in the Kansas Home Economics Association (KHEA), including being voted as the youngest state affiliate president in the history of KHEA, she left Kansas Extension in l986 and moved to Washington, DC to become the director of membership for the American Home Economics Association (now AAFCS), a position she held for three years. (Little did she know then that her career would take her back to AAFCS in the CEO position.)
Through Carolyn's experience in Extension and AHEA, Carolyn honed her organizational, leadership, and relationship-building skills. It was her volunteer work using these skills that led Carolyn to her next, and unlikely, position on her career path—congressional campaign manager for Dick Nichols, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas. She moved back to the Midwest for a year and was plunged feet first into the world of politics. Upon Dick Nichols' election, Carolyn moved back to the East Coast when asked to assume the responsibilities of chief of staff for Congressman Nichols’ Washington office and over his district offices in Kansas, giving her first-hand experience in working effectively with the legislative and policy-setting process.
When Dick left his office in Congress, Carolyn drew on her experience when tapped to create a congressional affairs program for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, managed by Envision, an international education company. Carolyn's capacity to establish a vision and to realize that vision through focused strategies, actions, and resources were evident. These achievements were the foundation for increasing responsibilities with Envision later as director of public affairs and then, senior advisor for relationship development for all Envision clients, involving more than 20,000 participants in 55 educational programs annually.
Carolyn returned to her family and consumer sciences roots in 2006 as executive director of AAFCS charged with providing top-level leadership for repositioning the Association for the next 100 years following its centennial in 2009. As part of that repositioning, she led branding efforts for both AAFCS and the field of family and consumer sciences and helped to found and develop the Alliance for Family & Consumer Sciences. Carolyn currently serves as AAFCS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Alliance for Family & Consumer Sciences Managing Director.