Jo Luck

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Jo Luck "became President and CEO of Heifer International, a world hunger organization, in July 1992. She also served as President of Heifer International Foundation from 1992 to 2001. She served for three years as Director of International Programs from 1989 to 1992, where she was responsible for Heifer International’s global program for sustainable development. Since 1944, Heifer has helped more than 4 million families in 125 countries around the world, including the United States.

"Prior to joining Heifer, Jo Luck served as Executive Director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for more than a decade. Jo Luck was then Governor Bill Clinton’s first cabinet appointee in January 1979 under the name of Jo Luck Wilson. During her tenure, the economic impact of the state’s tourism industry doubled from one billion to two billion dollars. She was recognized for initiating innovative fund-raising efforts through private/public partnerships.

"Jo Luck also served as the first Executive Director of the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an organization modeled after the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC. Jo Luck has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Leader Award by the University of Arkansas’ College of Business Administration. She was elected to the Arkansas Tourism Industry’s Hall of Fame for her work to preserve the natural resources in the “Natural” state. She enjoys the distinction of being one of the first women members of Rotary International in Arkansas and was recognized by Arkansas Business magazine as one of the Top 100 Women in Arkansas for 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. She is the recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews in the State of Arkansas (1997). She is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International and is one of a small number of recipients worldwide of the Rotary International “Service Above Self” award (1998), Rotary’s highest honor. In the Spring of 2000, Jo Luck was honored as one of the “Arkansas Women Pioneers” by the Central Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners for her international service. In 2001, Jo Luck was selected as a recipient of the International Women's Forum (IWF) Women Who Make a Difference Award. In 2002, Jo Luck was selected as a recipient of the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission Education Award.

"Her business travels have included a trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina on a fact-finding mission by invitation from the UN High Commission on Refugees. She was also a member of an evaluation team of non-government development specialists, invited by UNICEF to visit Cuba, with the purpose of reviewing programs and services impacting children and families in 1995. Overseas travel in recent years includes visits to Nepal, Zimbabwe, China, South Africa, Honduras, Thailand, Ecuador and Russia for review and evaluation of sustainable development projects. Most recently, she has traveled to Jerusalem to represent Arkansas at the International Women’s Forum.

"Jo Luck attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas where in 1982-83 she served as the first woman president of the Alumni Association. She attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and served on their Executive Committee of the Alumni Advisory Board. In 1999, she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Session on Governing for Nonprofit Excellence. Jo Luck currently serves on the boards of Fifty for the Future, the Arkansas Better Business Bureau, the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) and InterAction. She will co-chair the 2002 InterAction Forum in Washington, D.C. Jo Luck is a founding member of Women Executives in State Government (WESG), the International Women’s Forum, and the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum. She was one of two representatives from Arkansas to the U.S. Women’s Conference Circle, organized by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton after the 1996 IWF Conference in Beijing. She also served as Chair for the InterAction Forum (1996-97) in Washington, D.C., with the topic “Investing in People: Rights, Responsibilities and Resources.”

"She is the mother of one daughter, Beth Wilson, a co-owner in Wilson & Ledbetter, L.L.C. a temporary service for attorneys at law, and Mark Wilson, a technical analyst with MedEvolve." [1]

Resources and articles


  1. Jo Luck, Heifer International Foundation, accessed July 17, 2007.