Jan Thomas – CV

__Rev_Jan_ThomasSummary: Jan Thomas​​ is an interfaith minister, spiritual director, and communications specialist. She has held communications and program roles working on peace, environmental protection, environmental justice, interfaith education, mental health, and organization development.


Special Assistant to Daniel Ellsberg, East Bay, CA  (March 2019 – present)

Daniel_Ellsberg_PhotoCommunications and project management with Daniel Ellsberg – national security analyst, peace activist, & ‘grandfather of whistleblowers’ who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg’s most recent book (2017) is The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.

Freelance Editor, East Bay, CA (2010 – present)

Communications consultant and developmental editor at the nexus of spirituality, personal growth, and social change.

Editor, The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race, by Carl Anthony, Berkeley, CA (2007-2016; published 2017)

Collaborated with urban planner and environmental justice pioneer Carl Anthony on his memoir, The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race (New Village Press, 2017). This book interweaves his personal story with his deep insight about cities, race, Africa, cosmology, and environmental justice.

Communications ​Manager, The Grove Consultants International, San Francisco, CA (2014 – 2019)

Cultivated organizational thought leadership, wrote articles and posts, did content management for three web refresh projects. The Grove has pioneered the use of visual facilitation​ ​methods in organization development for collaboration and change.

Program Director, The Chaplaincy Institute – An Interfaith Seminary and Community, Berkeley, CA (2006 – 2010)

A multi-faceted program role, including program coordination, ministerial formation, curriculum development, admissions, and alumni relations, at an interfaith seminary that prepares clergy to serve people of any faith tradition or none.

U.S. and K-12 Program Director, Earth Day Network, Seattle, WA (2000 – 2002)

Responsible for communications and coordination with organizers of over 1,000 Earth Day activities in the United States. Lead writer of environmental Teachers Guides that were distributed to 80,000 U.S. teachers: PowerShift; Fundamental Forests; Biodiversity: Earth’s Living Treasure; WaterWays; and Renew Our Future.

Co-Author, Safe Energy Handbook, Berkeley, CA (1997)

Safe_Energy_Handbook_Blue_Cover_sshotCo-wrote a booklet about the risks of nuclear power and the prospects of clean energy; it was translated into nine languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Slovenian, and Turkish) and distributed to global citizen activists resisting nuclear power.

Research Associate to Linguistic Anthropologist Mary LeCron Foster, Ph.D., Berkeley, CA (1995 –1997 and 2002 – 2004)

Sole research associate for a linguistic anthropologist investigating the evolution of human spoken language and the interrelationships of sound and meaning among the world’s present-day languages. 

Programs Coordinator for North American & Asia-Pacific Office, EarthAction International, Oakland, CA (1992 –1994)

Communications for a global network of more than 1,000 citizen groups in 160 countries, working to advance peace, environment, and development initiatives. Desktop publishing and distribution of monthly action alert mailings to international partner organizations in three languages.

U.S. Media Liaison, Gulf Peace Team, Putney, VT (1991)

Media relations for an international citizens’ peace encampment on the border of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, working to prevent the outbreak of hostilities before and during the 1991 Gulf War.

International Communications Coordinator, Earth Day Network, Palo Alto, CA  (Spring 1990)

Editor of the Earth Day 1990 International Update, summarizing environmental activities undertaken by citizen groups in 140 countries for the first international Earth Day. Prepared and distributed press materials highlighting this worldwide groundswell of initiatives for environmental protection.

Research Assistant and Office Manager, Daniel Ellsberg, Ph.D., East Bay, CA (1982 – 1989)

Communications, media and administrative support for the activist, lecturer, author, policy scholar, and former governmental official and military analyst known for his release of the Pentagon Papers.

Psychiatric Social Work Supervisor (1980-1981) and Psychiatric Social Worker (1977-1980), Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, Knoxville, TN

Directed a community mental health program and supervised a team of psychiatric social workers. Provided case management, counseling, and client advocacy services.


Interfaith Spiritual Director, East Bay, CA (2008 – present)

Support people’s exploration of meaning-making, calling, spiritual growth and challenges, attunement to inner guidance, creativity, social contribution, and the Big Questions.

Interfaith Minister,  East Bay, CA (2005 – present)

Minister, facilitator, bedside choir leader, and officiant for weddings and memorials. Also see soulandmeaning.com for  wisdom quotes, climate support resources, sacred songs and more.

Community Minister, The Chaplaincy Institute – An Interfaith Seminary and Community, Berkeley, CA  (January – November 2020)

Ministerial support for a community of interfaith clergy ordained through The Chaplaincy Institute, an interfaith seminary and community in Berkeley, CA. Officiated Ordinations, administered Clergy in Good Standing Program, facilitated community initiatives.


Co-Director & Co-Founder, Northbay Threshold Choir, East Bay, CA  (2011 – 2020)

Involved since 2005 in the Threshold Choir bedside singing network and leadership. Co-founded three Threshold Choir chapters. Co-director of Northbay Threshold Choir for ten years.

Co-Creator (with ChI Rev. William Sewall, videographer, of blessed memory) of the Music, Ministry & Spirit video, Richmond, CA  (2015)

Music_Ministry_and_SpiritCreated a 20-minute video of “bedside singing how-to’s” for interfaith ministers and others supporting people at life’s end.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

—Master of Social Work, specializing in Psychiatric Social Work
—Bachelor of Social Work

The Chaplaincy Institute – An Interfaith Seminary

—Interfaith Minister – ordained in 2005
—Interfaith Spiritual Director – certified in 2007


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