Tannya L. Jenkins

Chief People and Culture Officer

Tannya is a visionary entrepreneur, Business & HR leadership executive, & Diversity expert with over 15 years of dynamic, collaborative & transformational leadership experience. With a strong track record of building, leading, and influencing high-performance work teams, Tannya has the ability to unify the organization, encourage a singular mission-driven mindset, reimagine operations, & work collectively in concert to deliver desired results. Her global experience and perspectives have enabled her to thrive at the intersection of strategic business acumen, organizational design/capability, employee engagement/relations, performance, and diversity, equity, inclusion, & accessibility. In her most recent role, Tannya served as the head of Talent at NWEA. In this role, Tannya was recognized for reimagining, and redesigning business operations, establishing centers of excellence, implementing cost-cutting efficiencies, and diversifying the workforce. 

As a double major in undergraduate school, Tannya earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations-Pre-Law and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and culture from Michigan State University. She also earned her master’s degree in HR Management & Labor & Industrial Relations from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. In addition to having earned several certifications from some of the world’s finest foreign universities, ranging from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China to Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Tannya is also currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Leadership, Innovation, & Continuous Improvement. Within her doctoral studies she is primarily focused on the intersection of Ethical Leadership & Emotional Intelligence, in theory and practice.

As a lifelong learner and a leader of leaders, Tannya believes that to equip and empower future generations, influence paradigm shifts, and add significant value and impact to the world around us, we must never stop learning and we must always maintain our commitment to serving others.

Tannya is a Michigan transplant who currently resides in the greater Portland, Oregon area with her husband (Tony), her two daughters (Paris & Riana) and her son (Little Tony). In her free time, Tannya enjoys, reading, writing, learning foreign languages, traveling, shopping, dancing, swimming, mentoring, serving alongside her sorority sisters in her local community, and going on adventures with her family.

When asked what she appreciates most about Friends of the Children, Tannya shared that as an African-American, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan she knows firsthand the positive impact that organizations, like Friends has had on the lives of people in disenfranchised communities. Tannya shared that she loves the organization’s mission, “12+ years, No Matter What”! Tannya believes her lived experience embodies and exemplifies the powerful positive impact of youth mentorship programs!