Jo graduated from Eagle Grove Community High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Drake University. Jo has professional experience in both the private and public sectors. She worked for 10 years in the financial services industry. Following that, she worked for eight years in the office of the Insurance Commissioner, eventually serving as the First Deputy Insurance Commissioner. Jo then served as policy advisor to Governor Tom Vilsack. In this capacity, she advised the governor on the issues of health, human services, elder affairs, insurance, banking, utilities, and professional licensing.
Jo and her husband, Brice Oakley, live in Des Moines.
Throughout her life, Jo has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service during her career. In addition, she has been actively involved in the community. She served for 10 years on the Young Women’s Resource Center Board of Directors. She has also been actively engaged in fundraising for United Way, is an active member of Plymouth Congregational Church, and, she has worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program.