NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
John Jacob was a pioneering community leader, primarily through his work with the National Urban League from 1965 until leaving the organization as president and CEO in 1993. He oversaw the League’s affiliates in more than 100 cities and its government affairs and research operations in Washington, DC. After the turbulent summer of 1967, Jacob oversaw the creation of Project Alert in Washington, DC. The Washington Urban League became a liaison for the community, with young people being recruited as leaders to bring community residents’ problems to the League. By 1968, when Jacob was named acting executive director, he helped create several other programs, including Operation Equality and Project ENABLE (Education and Neighborhood Action for a Better Living Environment).
During the Reagan administration, Jacob fought cutbacks to federal social programs and the weakening of civil rights enforcement. Jacob pioneered self-help organizations, especially as advocated by Black churches, civil rights and social welfare agencies but also was a strong advocate of federal aid for poor communities. During the presidency of George H.W. Bush in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he was an advocate of what he termed an urban Marshall Plan for disadvantaged youth and suggested that funding for training programs be transferred from the military budget. However, neither President Bush nor his successor, President Clinton, embraced it. Jacob helped the Urban League establish tutoring and counseling programs to raise SAT scores, teenage pregnancy-prevention programs, and a male responsibility program for fatherhood. He included voter registration and drug control to the League’s top priorities in the 1980’s.
John Jacob is a retired director and Executive Vice President – Global Communications for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., where he joined the senior management team in 1994. He was part of the company’s Strategy Committee, which oversaw all major policy and strategic issues of the corporation. He left the company in 2006 but remains on the board of directors.
Jacob is Senior Principal of Walter P. Moore, an engineering firm. He continues to serve the community through his church and social service organizations.
Jacob earned his MSW at Howard University in 1963, where he also received his BA in Economics in 1957.
Significant Achievements and Awards
He has served on numerous boards of directors, including SCS Corporation Ltd., Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc., Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, and Morgan Stanley.
Jacob is the recipient of 19 honorary doctoral degrees and received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Howard University in 2002. Among the honorary degrees are:
1986: Tuskegee University and Central State University
1985: LaFayette College
1983: Fisk University
In 2001, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation established the Anheuser-Busch John E. Jacob Chair in Howard’s School of Business.