Chief in Residence
Dr. Barbara Jenkins is a chief in residence and leads the Chiefs for Change Women in Leadership initiative, an extension of the network’s Future Chiefs leadership development program. Women in Leadership provides programming specifically tailored for women who are or want to become chiefs.
Jenkins is the former superintendent of Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Florida. Under her leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships. The district also received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and 2015 and the Sustained Excellence Award in 2017 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices. In 2015, OCPS received district accreditation from AdvancED. The district also received accolades from the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit.
Jenkins is a nationally recognized education leader. In 2017, she received a presidential appointment as a director of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools and the Florida Council of 100 and is a board member for Educational Testing Service; New Teacher Center; Strategic Education Research Partnership; and the SAT Suite Committee. She is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.
In 2017, Jenkins was named the Florida Superintendent of the Year and one of four finalists for the national title. The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents named her Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year, and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (CTE) named her CTE Superintendent of the Year. Both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named Jenkins as one of the 10 Most Powerful people in Central Florida on multiple occasions; in 2018, Orlando Magazine ranked her number one in education among its 50 Most Powerful. The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. She also received the Visionary Award from the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council and was named Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council.
Deeply engaged in the community, Jenkins serves on the boards of Advent Health; United Arts of Central Florida; Orlando Economic Partnership; and The Citizens Commission for Children.