Jennifer Trubenbach is the President and Executive Director of Operation of Hope , a volunteer surgical team that has changed the lives of over 2,000 children...and counting...around the world. The organization, founded over 20 years ago by her father, Dr. Joe Clawson, travels to developing countries to perform cleft-lip, cleft-palate, and other facial reconstructive surgeries.
As executive director, Jennifer manages all fundraising, volunteer and staff coordination, supply procurement and organization, travel logistics, and interface with local embassies and citizens for Operation of Hope's missions.
In 2006, while on a medical mission in Zimbabwe, Jennifer met a local 15-year old boy named Beloved whose lower face had been destroyed by a land-mine. To afford him the medical attention he needed, she brought him back to her home in Orange County, California where he lived with the Trubenbach family for the better part of a year while undergoing facial reconstructive surgery. The family took out a second mortgage on their home to cover his medical bills. Beloved, once referred to as "monster," returned to his thankful family in Zimbabwe with his new face and new hope for a life of happiness.
In 2008 Jennifer was presented as one of People Magazine's "Heroes Among Us" on CNN"s "All-Star Hero Tribute" for her efforts on behalf of Beloved. Jennifer was the featured commencement speaker at Pepperdine University after being named their "Distinguished Alumnus" in 2009. She has received similar honors at Azuza Pacific University.
In 2008 Jennifer was one of 50 women out of 50,000 entries selected to join Oprah Winfrey in an all-expenses-paid inspirational week at Miravel Resort and Spa. The majority of winners "in need of a vacation" had suffered serious stress and calamity. Jennifer was selected because her life is about helping people.
Jennifer holds a master's degree in educational technology from Pepperdine University and served as a corporate trainer and consultant prior to her involvement with Operation of Hope.
In Jennifer's case, Operation of Hope is in deed a family affair. Jennifer's brother, Stephen, serves as marketing director. Her husband, Ted, serves on the board of directors, and their daughter, Mari, and Jennifer's sister, Teryn, have both served on numerous medical missions.