Summary: Jan Thomas is a communications specialist focusing on social change communications, developmental editing, program coordination, web content management, and cultivation of thought leadership. She is also an interfaith minister and spiritual director. Jan has held communications and program roles with groups and projects involved in environmental protection, peace, environmental justice, interfaith education, and organization development.
COMMUNICATIONS AND PROGRAM WORK
Special Assistant to Daniel Ellsberg, East Bay, CA (March 2019 – present)
A communications and project management role with Daniel Ellsberg, the national security analyst, peace activist, and ‘grandfather of whistleblowers’ who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg’s most recent book (published in 2017) is The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.
Communications Manager, The Grove Consultants International, San Francisco, CA (2014 – 2019)
Built organizational thought leadership and grew web presence through interviews, writing articles, social media, and website and blog posts in WordPress, PHP and HTML. Prepared Grove eJournal; managed video projects; responsible for content management for three web refresh projects. The Grove has pioneered the use of visual facilitation methods in organization development for teaming, collaboration, and change.
Personal Editor for Carl Anthony‘s Book, The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race, Berkeley, CA (2007-2016; book published by New Village Press, 2017)
Collaborated with environmental justice pioneer Carl Anthony over a 10-year period as an interviewer and developmental editor for his memoir, The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race. The book places his personal story within the intersections of race, the environment, Africa, cosmology, cities, and environmental justice.
Program Director, The Chaplaincy Institute – An Interfaith Seminary and Community, Berkeley, CA (2006 – 2010)
Held a multi-faceted leadership role—including program coordination, ministerial formation, faculty liaison, admissions, alumni relations, and web content development—at an interfaith seminary that prepares clergy to serve people of any faith tradition or none. Curriculum development for a course of study that incorporates mystical and practical teachings of Buddhism, Judaism, Earth-Based Spirituality, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as pastoral skills for end-of-life spiritual support.
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 (1998)
Co-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)
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 best 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.
MINISTRY & SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
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.
Interfaith Minister, East Bay, CA (2005 – present)
Minister, facilitator, bedside choir leader, and officiant for weddings and memorials. Also see collected sacred wisdom quotes, sacred songs and more, at soulandmeaning.com.
Interfaith Spiritual Director, East Bay, CA (2008 – present)
Support people’s exploration of meaning-making, callings, spiritual growth and challenges, attunement to inner guidance, creativity, social contribution, and the Big Questions.
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-founder of three Choir chapters; co-director of a Choir in the San Francisco Bay Area for ten years.
Guest Faculty, The Chaplaincy Institute: An Interfaith Seminary, Berkeley, CA (2012 – present)
Teach “The Musical Ministry of Bedside Singing” class, drawing from learnings from the Threshold Choir bedside singing network. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said: “Music seems to be the bridge over the gulf between form and the formless.”
Curator and Editor, “Living Interfaith“, The Chaplaincy Institute – An Interfaith Seminary and Community, Berkeley, CA (2017)
Co-Creator (with Rev. William Sewall) of a Video, Music, Ministry & Spirit, Richmond, CA (2015)
Teamed with a videographer to create a 20-minute how-to video geared to interfaith ministers and others seeking to support people with singing at life’s end.
—Master of Social Work, specializing in Psychiatric Social Work
—Bachelor of Social Work, with minor in Psychology
—Interfaith Minister – ordained in 2005
—Interfaith Spiritual Director – certified in 2007