Rita Henley Jensen
Jane Crow Project Founder
Rita Henley Jensen is a journalism social entrepreneur who rose from being a domestic violence survivor with a high school diploma to found, launch and lead a successful Internet-based news service in 2000. Women’s eNews is a daily nonprofit news site covering issues of particular concern for women and girls around the globe. It is now the winner of more than 46 journalism awards. Most recently the Women Economic Forum, based in India, named Henley Jensen the 2016 Iconic Thought Leader for the Decade in Media.
Carrying the Investigative Work Forward
On May 31, 2016, Henley Jensen pivoted from serving as the Women’s eNews editor in chief and president of the board to serving as founder and editor in chief emerita. She has been appointed a 2017 research associate for the Five Colleges Consortium, based in Mt. Holyoke, Mass., to expand her work on Jane Crow: Why the Mothers Are Dying.
2002-2016: Founder and editor in chief of Women’s eNews. Migrated the site from a program of NOW Legal Defense to an independent news service. Created major fund-raising gala and a large network of foundation and individual donors, developed the Women’s History Walk and assumed the control of Teen Voices, a print magazine transformed to the online Teen Voices at Women’s eNews. In 2016, the organization’s revenue approached $1,000,000 and it had won more than 46 journalism awards, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Reporting.
1999-2001 Director of Women, Policy and Media program for NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, now called Legal Momentum. Oversaw the development and launch of Women’s eNews. When NOW Legal Defense felt the economic consequences of the September 11 attack, its board eliminated the program.
- 1996-1999 Freelance for New York Times, New York Times Syndicate, ABA Journal and Ms. Magazine.
- 1995-1996 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, researching and writing on the nation’s largest law firms designed legal strategies leading to the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s.
- 1986-1994 Senior Writer for the National Law Journal, winning awards for groundbreaking coverage of the business of law firms.
- 1984-1986 Assistant managing editor, the American Lawyer
- 1979-1981 Investigative reporter, the Stamford Advocate, Stamford, Conn.
- 1977-1979 General assignment reporter, the Paterson News, Paterson, N.J. , winning eight awards for investigative coverage of education and law enforcement
- 1977 Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, M.A.; 1976 Ohio State University, B.A.