Jennifer M. Keough
Everywhere you look in the legal administration industry, you’ll find Jennifer Keough’s fingerprints. After rising through the ranks at one of the country’s largest legal administration firms, Keough took on a new challenge when she co-founded JND Legal Administration. The first and only female CEO in the industry, she steers JND on a rapid growth trajectory, works hands-on with her co-founders, and oversees the company’s day-to-day activities, while JND tackles some of the most complex cases in the industry.
Keough’s mantra, “Good work gets good work,” informs her role as mentor. She helps carve out spaces for other women to do good work, show off what they’ve done and win new challenging assignments. “From childhood, I was taught that I could do anything I set my mind to. Today I mentor other women and strive to instill the same belief in them. I work hard to create an environment at JND where women (and men) are encouraged to share ideas, work though challenges together and support each other to achieve success.”
This busy CEO and mother of 15-month-old twins also makes the time to lend her voice to causes like Make-A-Wish and support organizations such as Public Justice and Washington Women in Need.
Keough thinks diversity advocate Vernā Myers said it best: “Diversity is being asked to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” That is, while diversity is important, you can’t grow a business without inclusion. Leaders must bring everybody into the conversation and foster participation in order to cultivate ideas, find creative solutions, and spark innovation.
What advice does Keough’s offer women on their way up? “Ask questions, raise your hand, volunteer for assignments that will challenge you and help you grow, stay engaged and be willing to take chances.” She goes on to say, “Define your core values and never compromise them. Then surround yourself with people who share those values.”