The collection documents the political activities of Jo Ann Gasper from 1970 to 1993. The collection is focused on her time
as the editor and publisher of The Right Woman newsletter, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
and as the Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education. Materials in the collection are comprised
of biographical files, correspondence, printed matter, research, speeches and writings.
Jo Ann Gasper was born September 25th, 1946, in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her B.A. in Political Philosophy in
1967, and an M.B.A. in 1969, from the University of Dallas. Gasper started her professional career in 1976 as the editor and
publisher of The Right Woman newsletter, whose primary focus was centered on family and women’s issues. Additionally, the newsletter provided independent
consultation on public policy issues and business procedures. Due to her expertise in family and social policy, Gasper served
as a Family Policy Advisor to the Reagan and Bush 1980 presidential campaign. She continued her political career at the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, where she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs. During
her time as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs she was responsible for the administration of the National Family
Planning Program and the Adolescent Family Life Program. Gasper was released from her position in 1987 by the Secretary of
Health and Human Services, Otis R. Bowen, for her refusal to issue grants to two Planned Parenthood groups. In 1987, Gasper
joined the U.S. Department of Education in the capacity of Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Education, where she worked
on issues related to Youth and Family Policy, specifically: adolescent pregnancy, abortion, sex education, and contraceptive
services. Jo Ann Gasper retired from her political career in the 1990s.