May 2, 2018
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday evening, the Georgetown University Cooper Athletics Leadership Program (CALP) hosted an event - Empowering Women as Change Agents and Influencer, A conversation with Terri Jackson (C'89 & L'92). The program was held in Nolan Hall in the Thompson Athletics Center and was geared toward all of Georgetown's female student-athletes.
"We are thrilled that Terri came back to the Hilltop, and this was a fantastic opportunity for our student-athletes to learn from her inspiring personal and professional path," Maya Ozery, Georgetown's executive director of CALP, said. "The program's intimate setting offered a real-talk conversation, and the student-athletes were able to ask questions and gain perspective on stepping into leadership roles and pursuing one's passion. Terri's unwavering attitude and positive presence made a lasting impression on everyone that attended the program."
Jackson spoke of her path from Georgetown to her current roll as the director of operations for the Women's National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) and how the best professional path isn't always the most linear. Her message to the young women in the room was to set their sights on their goals and do everything possible to achieve them.
"When you want something you really want, go after it like it is war. Go after it like it is everything to you. I wasn't a student-athlete, but let me tell you, I was working out, pulling two-a-days. It wasn't because I was trying to lose weight, it was because I wanted my mind right and be in the right frame of mind ... I was ALL in.
"There is so much that you do and that you bring to the table that makes you so marketable and so amazing as student-athletes. You will be highly sought after. You are exposed to so much more than other students, and you know that. Employers value that ... You can be as confident and as bold as you want to be, but you need to demonstrate to somebody how you are going to add value. You demonstrate what the missing piece is, or what is the missing link is on their team. And you show them what that is and why it should be you."
Jackson was named Director of Operations for the Women's National Basketball Players Association in May 2016. In her role, Jackson is responsible for WNBPA board relations, executive leadership and management, financial governance and stakeholder outreach. These responsibilities require her to be a good negotiator, creative marketing consultant, listener & problem-solver and all-around fixer.
Jackson came to the WNBPA after four years with the NCAA in Indianapolis. In her last position at the NCAA she reported to the chief legal officer/executive vice president and served as the director of law, policy and governance. In this role, she operated as the EVP's chief of staff. She was the primary contact and staff support to university chancellors, presidents and athletics administrators who comprised the NCAA's highest governing body, the NCAA Board of Governors. Jackson worked with all divisions of governance (Divisions I, II, III) and association-wide committees to ensure consistency of process and strategic coordination in legislative and policy matters.
Jackson also served as the associate director for the NCAA's Office of the Committees on Infractions (COI), where she led the training for members of the Division I and II Committees on Infractions on NCAA enforcement reform. In addition, she was responsible for spearheading the Division I COI membership expansion and outreach initiatives during the first phase of expansion.
Prior to her time at the NCAA, Jackson served as legal counsel for athletics and, later, assistant general counsel and FOIA officer for the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). At UDC, she worked closely with NCAA athletic department senior staff on Title IX compliance, student-athlete welfare, NCAA rules education and corporate sponsorship agreements. Jackson has also taught courses on Women in Sport at American University, Trinity University, University of the Incarnate Word and Tulane University.
A native of New Jersey, Jackson earned her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center & bachelor of arts from Georgetown University, and is the recipient of Georgetown's distinguished awards community service and service to the legal profession. She is happily married to Georgetown men's basketball alum Jaren Jackson (MSB '89), a former NBA Champion (San Antonio Spurs), and they are the proud parents of one son, Jaren Jr.
"Mrs. Terri Jackson was very inspirational," Georgetown senior women's basketball player Mikayla Venson said. "She taught us to always work hard and to believe in our goals and dreams. I think more women should hear her story."
Tuesday's event was made possible by a donation from current Georgetown parents, Lisa and Doug (B'81) Jordan. Doug is an alum of the Georgetown football program. In the spring of 2016, the Jordans provided seed funding to help launch the Georgetown Athletics Women's Initiative. Tuesday was the second annual event focused on GU's female student-athletes. Last spring the department partnered with the Women's Sports Foundation to host Candid Conversations, a conversation and workshop with Olympic champion Esther Lofgren.