LaFreeda Jordan, UAH chief external affairs officer, named a 2024 Alabama Woman of Impact

LaFreeda Jordan
LaFreeda Jordan
Courtesy Yellowhammer News

LaFreeda Jordan, chief external affairs officer for The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), is one of the 2024 Alabama Women of Impact chosen by Yellowhammer News Media Group, LLC. Jordan and the 19 other honorees received their awards during a dinner and ceremony on Jan. 25 at The Florentine in Birmingham.

Jordan says she was surprised when Yellowhammer News informed her of the award.

“I’m truly humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” she says. “Looking at the past and present Women of Impact, I am grateful to be in that group. These are very distinguished and amazing women who have made significant contributions of service throughout the state. To be within the ranks of those women, I’m just thrilled.”

Yellowhammer News describes the Women of Impact awards as a way to “recognize the women in Alabama whose contributions have earned the authority and power to move the needle in their industry. Our mission is to illuminate the personal and professional advancements of 20 women across business, government and nonprofit sectors each year. These women are a force in our state; respected leaders, advisors and mentors who empower others through the lives they devote and the trails they blaze.”

Jordan brought more than 30 years of experience in government to her current position at UAH, a part of The University of Alabama System. She serves as the primary contact for all matters pertaining to the office of UAH President Dr. Charles Karr.

“We have so much to be proud of at UAH,” Jordan says. “We have wonderful faculty, staff, researchers, students. We just have a great team, all who want to make UAH even better. I am happy to be a part of that team. One day at a time, trying to make a difference, spreading the good news about UAH.”

Jordan was born in Montgomery at a significant time in Alabama history – the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights in 1965. The marchers reached their campsite around St. Jude Hospital the day she was born there. The next day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the nonviolent demonstrators to the state capitol. Her mother told her about seeing the marchers camped out around the hospital and hearing the songs of the musicians who were part of the group, including Harry Belafonte and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Jordan’s parents were teachers who not only taught their children the Golden Rule but also showed it to them through their actions.

“We would see it daily with our parents always helping others. To this day I’m involved in a lot, but that’s because you have to be involved to see things change. You can’t wait on the person beside you or behind you or in front of you. It starts with you.”

Jordan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Spelman College, where she served as class president. She also holds a certificate from Auburn University’s Intensive Economic Development Training Course.

After graduating from Spelman, she joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and worked for him for more than 26 years. As director of his North Alabama congressional office, she served as the senator’s principal state liaison to NASA, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and space and defense industry leaders.

Jordan has been part of the University of Alabama System and particularly UAH for a total of 10 years.

“I love UAH,” she says, “and we have a wonderful president in Dr. Karr. I’ve been blessed to have two fabulous bosses in my lifetime: Senator Shelby and now President Karr. We’ve got great leadership.”

Jordan serves on the following boards and is a member of the following organizations: Committee of 100, Huntsville Madison County Airport Authority Board, Air Space and Missile Defense Association, Huntsville Planning Commission, The ARC of Madison County Board, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Links Inc., Junior League of Huntsville, and US Selective Service Board. She also is a past graduate of Leadership Greater Huntsville Focus Class 7 and Leadership Montgomery.

For more information on the 2024 Alabama Women of Impact awards, visit


Kristina Hendrix

Elizabeth Gibisch