Karen Thompson-Jackson, Ph.D.

Karen Thompson-Jackson, Ph.D.


Passionate changemaker and inspiring leader, Dr. Karen Thompson Jackson PhD, has made her mark as a force for good within the Junior League of Tuscaloosa (JLT), her community and beyond. Dr. Jackson’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion continues to make a tremendous impact on her League, where she has served as President. Wherever progress can be made, Dr. Jackson has the vision and drive to initiate it.

Dr. Jackson is a natural leader, and has served as Executive Director of Temporary Emergency Service for over 29 years. Her ability to balance demanding leadership roles with civic work is a skill that continues to benefit the organizations she is involved with. Dr. Jackson’s impact was recognized by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, which inducted her into the Civic Hall of Fame.

As the first woman of color president of JLT, Dr. Jackson directed implementation of a Women of Color (WOC) affinity group, an effort which will continue to support diversity efforts within the League. Between 2018 and 2019, Dr. Jackson implemented a new governance and management structure within the League, overseeing completion of bylaws.

Dr. Jackson’s work outside of the League is equally impactful. She has served as the Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair with the Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division where she has utilized key components of her diversity and inclusion skills to create a platform ensuring the growth and stability of the committee. She is a 2005 Rotary Rose Recipient, the 2005 Leadership Tuscaloosa Award, the 2019 West Alabama Civic Hall of Fame inductee, the 2019 Community Foundation of West Alabama Pillar, received the Buford Peace Award in 2022 from the University of Alabama, and most recently recognized as a community leader by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega chapter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Dr. Jackson holds a PhD in Instructional Leadership with an emphasis on Social and Cultural Studies from The University of Alabama’s College of Education.