Jennifer Hester

Chief Human Resources Officer

Why I joined Emmes

Like the staff at Emmes who strive to make a difference through their scientific work, I wanted to make a difference by developing high-quality human resources programs. Compensation, benefits and employee relations are part of my job, but I really see my role as being an advocate for our staff and managers and helping to build positive and productive working relationships.

How I describe our firm to other people

Emmes has done well by doing what we love to do: improving public health and improving people’s lives.

A bit about me

I’m newly devoted to building a lifestyle that promotes healthy eating and physical activity. While I was working, I went back to school to get my MBA, and was both a full-time employee and full-time student. I made some physical sacrifices, so now I’m committed to maintaining a healthy exercise regimen and making better food choices. I believe that trying to be as physically fit as you are able helps you to become more mentally fit as well.

Something I’m most proud of

The development and growth of the human resources organizations that I’ve been part of.

A career highlight

In my prior jobs and current position, I’ve been fortunate to have had great role models as bosses – and this has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a good person, first and foremost, and also to be a good business leader and manager.

My background

I actually started my career in an accounting department. The organization had a combined finance and administration group – which included human resources – so that’s how I ended up learning more about hiring, benefits and employee relations. I worked for several companies ranging from hundreds to thousands of employees, and as I got more formal education and took on more responsibilities, I was promoted from an HR assistant to a management position. In 2006, I came to Emmes after one of the top executives asked, “How can you help us?” I was excited about the prospect of helping the company grow and adding value through professional HR programs and services. We’ve doubled our employee count since the time I joined. I’ve continued to love it here and appreciate the opportunities.


MBA, University of Maryland
M.S., human resource management, American University
B.A., liberal arts and sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute