Joann "Jo" Eisenhart

Credentials: Ph.D. 1985

Joann Eisenhart


Joann (Jo) Eisenhart, Ph.D., retired as executive vice president and chief people officer at Northwestern Mutual at the end of 2019. In this role, she led the People Function, which included the human resources, communications & corporate affairs, digital workplace & corporate solutions, campus & events experiences and strategic philanthropy & community relations departments.

Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual in 2011, Eisenhart was senior vice president for human resources at Pfizer, Inc, where she led a global human resources team that supported more than 100,000 employees worldwide. Previous to this position, she was vice president of human resources for Pfizer’s Global R&D organization. From 1985 to 2001, Eisenhart worked at the Rohm & Haas Company, a specialty chemical company acquired by Dow Chemical in 2009. While at Rohm & Haas, she spent eight years in human resources and organizational effectiveness and eight years as a research scientist in the polymers division.

Eisenhart holds a doctorate in human and organizational development from The Fielding Graduate Institute, where her dissertation research focused on the topic of women, leadership and power in large corporations. She also holds a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Eisenhart is on the Board of Directors of Plexus Corporation, where she is chair of the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee. She is also on the Board of Advisors for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemistry. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Wisconsin and was a member of the University of Wisconsin System Business Council.