About me

A global corporate communications professional and freelance Travel and Lifestyles journalist, Maureen Jenkins is a “citizen of the world.” Based in Chicago, she’s traveled the globe, having visited more than 30 countries and territories for work and pleasure. She spent one year living and working as a freelance Travel, Food, and Lifestyles writer and Communications consultant in Samois-sur-Seine, France, a charming small village near Paris.

Maureen is the Director, Story Development for Abbott, where she helps uncover and develop consumer-friendly stories that showcase the global healthcare company’s people, science, and innovation with audiences around the world. Previously, she was a Global Internal Communications Manager for the McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, Ill. She also worked as a Communications Specialist at The Boeing Company, where she led company-wide manager-focused communications and served in an interim role at Boeing Commercial Airplanes International Communications, supporting the Latin America and Africa Sales team.

She’s also a reporter who’s written for U.S. and international publications including CNN.com, About.com Luxury Travel, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, EBONY, Jet, Today’s Chicago Woman, Michigan Avenue, Black Enterprise and Crain’s Chicago Business, covering everything from celebrity chefs to women winemakers to the annual olive harvest in Tuscany. She blogs at UrbanTravelGirl.com, which encourages African-American women “to live globally through international travel.”

As a newspaper reporter, Maureen covered everything from food to fashion to popular culture and religion for the Sun-Times, Arizona Republic, The Oregonian and the Charlotte Observer. Combining her interest in American pop culture with religion, faith and spirituality, she earned a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, with a focus on religion and journalism and special emphasis on cross-cultural studies.

In addition, Maureen has extensive experience in corporate communications and agency public relations, having worked for major corporations including Sears and Boeing (where she wrote about international growth strategy for monthly employee magazine Boeing Frontiers), and global PR firms including GolinHarris. Her expertise includes international and employee corporate communications, as well as consumer and marketing public relations.

Maureen lived and worked as a freelance writer in Florence, Italy, for nearly one year. While there, she wrote about food, travel, lifestyles and popular culture for the Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Black Enterprise and Working Mother. During her time abroad, she also produced corporate communications materials as a freelance consultant. Upon her return to Chicago in April 2005, she taught freshman journalism at her alma mater, Northwestern University.

This dedicated globetrotter has studied Italian in Chicago, Rome and Florence, Italy. She also has studied Spanish in Chicago and Seattle, as well as French at the Alliance Française in downtown Chicago, Seattle and Avon, France. She belongs to the Chicago Sister Cities Milan (Italy) and Paris Committees, Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS), ColorComm (Women of Color in Communications), and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.