They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  That is true with Jessica Hennessey, proposed by Mark Wright and Sarah Mackay. 
Jess grew up in central New York.  Her father worked for Boeing as a flight technician and lived all over the world assisting with the delivery of airplanes.  When Cayman Airways bought planes, for example, Jess was off to visit her father in the Cayman Islands.  Her father instilled in her a love of travel, cultures, and peoples of the world.  Her mother, a dental hygienist, insisted that she and her siblings regularly volunteer at nursing homes, instilling in Jess a call to service.
Love of travel and a call to service defines this Rotarian.
Her love of travel inspired her to become a Rotary Exchange Student; she spent a year of high school in South Africa just as apartheid was ending.  During this tense, unpredictable, and historic time she was invited to have tea with Desmond Tutu and remembers particularly how he radiated joy and good humor.
After graduating from Hope College, she moved to Zimbabwe where she studied for a year. She then moved to Chicago and worked as a community organizer, concentrating on Senior Citizens’ issues.
After graduating from law school at the University at Buffalo she took her first job in Manhattan, representing the government in Immigration Court proceedings.  She then moved to San Francisco as an Assistant Chief Counsel for ICE, and later, DC where she again worked on refugee and asylum laws.
As her knowledge and reputation grew, she became Senator Charles Schumer’s Immigration Counsel,  advising and prepping the senator to lobby Secretary of State Clinton on immigration policy.  Jess particularly enjoyed the banter between the senior senator and the one-time junior senator of New York.  After becoming Deputy Chief Counsel for Homeland Security, Jess was recruited by Amazon.  
As Amazon’s Senior Advisor on Global Immigration Policy she partners on public policy issues in DC, internal legal policy, and Amazon’s immigration policy.  She loves the impact that a big company like Amazon can create.  As Amazon strives to become “Earth’s Best Employer”, Jess works to provide jobs, training, and education to immigrant and refugee employees. 
Jess volunteers at Little Mercies, which focuses on children awaiting court dates at the Mexican border; and she is a pro bono attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.  When I asked her why she continued to volunteer in nursing homes, she gave me kind of a guilty look.  Jess has always felt that she has been the real beneficiary, of their kindness and their wisdom. 
Jess’ husband, Sean Hennessey is an accomplished glass artist who is also doing art installation and repair locally.  They live together with their 4 year old son, Atlas, in the Mount Baker neighborhood.
Jess is a scuba diver, cyclist, loves good wine and good cooking, and just did a new years’ day polar plunge.    Please give a warm Rotary welcome to Jessica Hennessey.  Classification Technology.
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