Ambassador Janice L. Jacobs retired in April 2014 after a 35-year career with the U.S. Department of State. She served as the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs from 2008 – 2014, overseeing a staff of some 12,000 employees responsible for protecting U.S. citizens abroad, issuing U.S. passports and processing visas for visitors and immigrants to the United States. As Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Janice engaged in leadership development, overseeing development of the “1CA” initiative, an effort to focus on smart management of Consular Affairs’ resources. “1CA” became a template for Department-wide efforts to encourage innovative management. On September 2015, she was appointed as the State Department’s Transparency Coordinator.
Prior to serving as Assistant Secretary, Janice served as the Principal Deputy Assistant for the Bureau of Consular Affairs and before that as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Visa Services from 2002-2005, overseeing the complete transformation of the visa process in the aftermath of 9/11.
Janice served in Africa, Latin America and Europe, advancing foreign policy interests across a broad range of issues including democratization and human rights, trade and investment liberalization, counter-terrorism and immigration. Her career included a mix of Washington, D.C. and overseas assignments, including working in the State Department’s Visa Office, Operations Center, and Office of Cuban Affairs and as DCM/Charge at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo.
Following her retirement, Janice served as a visiting lecturer at her alma mater, Southern Illinois University, during the 2015 fall semester. She taught classes on terrorism/counterterrorism, the Middle East, and immigration reform. She received a BA in French from Southern Illinois University in 1968 and a Master’s in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 1995.