U.S. congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri has been selected as the next chief executive officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), effective from March 1, 2013.

Emerson will succeed CEO Glenn English, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Emerson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 from Missouri's Eighth Congressional District. She serves on the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations. In addition to a leadership role on agriculture, health care, and government reform issues in the House, Emerson has won recognition for her work on energy issues, including the NRECA Distinguished Service Award.

“Energy has a direct relationship with the vitality of rural America,” said Emerson. “NRECA is committed to the electric cooperatives that fulfill this vital need, and work so hard every day to improve the quality of life for their member-owners. I am so very honored to join an outstanding organization to work on their behalf.”

In addition to her committee posts, Emerson also serves as co-Chair of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and holds a position on the Board of the Congressional Hunger Center. She is the first Republican woman from Missouri to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Emerson graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and held executive roles in communications and government affairs positions with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to Congress.