Joanne Rencher Joins NKF as Chief People Officer to Lead DEI Efforts

Joanne Rencher

~ Experienced Non-Profit People and Culture Expert joins the fight against kidney disease ~

(March 7, 2024, New York, NY) - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recently appointed Joanne (Jo) Rencher of New York as NKF’s Chief People Officer. Jo has a deep understanding of people and culture and exhibits an entrepreneurial spirit with a history of trailblazing diversity initiatives. In this role, Jo will lead the organization’s People and Culture Department (formerly known as Human Resources) while continuing to shape NKF’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) strategies. She will serve on the NKF Leadership team, reporting to Kevin Longino, NKF’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We’re excited Jo has joined the NKF Leadership Team and the NKF Family,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of NKF and a kidney transplant recipient. “We strive to create a culture of belonging at NKF that runs through our employee programs, patient programs, as well as volunteer and professional engagement efforts. Jo's extensive career achievements in healthcare, financial services, technology/AI-powered, and the nonprofit sector illustrate a rich history of creating diverse and inclusive cultures that will ensure ALL voices are heard.”

Jo has worked at the C-level for major for-profit companies, iconic nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs in the USA as well as developing countries. Her career includes several “firsts” including the first Chief Business and Talent Officer for the Girl Scouts, the first Chief People Officer for the American Red Cross in Greater New York, and the first Global HR Unit that ultimately involved leading a matrixed team on four continents and six countries for the first public-private partnership to work on a vaccine for the AIDS virus – the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative!  

She began her career in the financial services industry for a GE Capital bond insurance business where she won several leadership awards. She was also the 2016 winner of GetFive’s HR Hero Award for Outstanding Mentorship, and is a published author having penned: Tough As Nails: Finding Your Voice as a Woman in the Workplace, a book Kirkus Reviews describes as “a well-thought-out career manual that is a useful guide to aid working women of all ages.” And recently, she hosted a weekly podcast entitled: #RealTalk About the Workplace.

“I’m honored to join an organization that’s a leader in the kidney space and advocates for equal access to quality kidney care and transplantation,” said Jo Rencher. “I’ve spent much of my career embracing leadership challenges for social impact causes. I feel privileged to further those passions by shaping People strategies and programs that help NKF achieve its goals and mission; it’s a top priority for me to work with field operations to understand the programs on the ground and provide them with top-tier talent. There’s exciting work ahead to leverage data and analytics to inform People strategy and decision-making.”


Jo holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics from Empire State University in New York.

About Kidney Disease

In the United States, more than 37 million adults are estimated to have kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Black or African American people are about four times as likely as White people to have kidney failure. Hispanics experience kidney failure at about double the rate of White people.

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit