Deputy State Director
California State Office
She was born a "Tennessee girl," but moved to Grass Valley when she was six months old, growing up in the Mother Lode country -- so make no mistake, she is a "California girl." She is Irish with an Armenian name and loves people and lively discussions.
Jan ventured out of state, but not too far, to attend the University of Nevada-Reno, just up the road. She earned dual degrees in journalism and English and did a stint as a reporter for the Reno newspaper. She came to work for BLM in 1973 as the first public affairs person BLM-Nevada had ever had, thinking it would be great to tell Nevadans what BLM was all about. She found out Nevadans didn't like some of the things BLM was doing -- a journalist friend of Jan's coined the phrase the "Sagebrush Rebellion." Jan also worked in the Washington, D.C. office as Assistant Public Affairs Chief before returning to California to work in the state office as a public affairs specialist and congressional liaison; she was promoted to Deputy State Director, External Affairs in 2001.
Having served with BLM for almost 38 years, 20 of those in the California state office, Jan is well respected for her knowledge of topics and handling of issues. So well respected, she was called upon by a former BLM Director to act as the BLM's chief-of-staff until a new one could be selected.
For her dedication, expertise, and service, Jan has been honored to receive the two highest awards of the Department of the Interior, the Meritorious Service Award in 2007, and the Department's highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Service Award, presented to her in Washington DC in 2010. According to the Interior Department, "Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award must have demonstrated extremely significant long-term contributions to Departmental programs and missions." These awards are signed by the Secretary of the Interior and have been presented since 1948.
Outside the workplace Jan enjoys politics, travel and making cookies. But mostly, she enjoys her family, husband Tod, son Sean and daughter Kate; and her 3 sisters, brother, and father, who all live in the Sacramento area.