Jena McNeill

Jena Baker McNeill is the Legislative Director for Senator Joni Ernst. Previously, she worked as a senior director of government relations at the U.S. Travel Association (U.S. Travel). In her role, McNeill was responsible for outreach to advance U.S. Travel’s security-related legislative priorities in Congress. McNeill joined U.S. Travel in 2015 after serving as the deputy director for homeland security on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee under Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI). During her tenure with the committee, she handled security issues from border security and visa policies to critical infrastructure protection and aviation security.

McNeill has held policy and strategic communications roles throughout her career, including positions at The Chertoff Group, The Hutchinson Group and The Heritage Foundation, where she served as the lead subject matter expert on homeland security issues. She began her career as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, working with military clients on environmental clean-up matters and worked as an aide to former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr. She clerked for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, and several Arkansas law firms. She has provided commentary to most major TV and radio outlets, and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on homeland security and immigration enforcement matters.

McNeill’s research was quoted in former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s biography, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness and now-President Donald Trump’s book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again. She is a Senior Fellow with the Auburn University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security and a Co-Chair of the Women in Government Relations Homeland Security and Defense Taskforce.

McNeill holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland College Park, and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas Little Rock School of Law.