Janet (Jan) K. Lesher, Class of 1973
Government and Community Leader
Janet K. Lesher is a native Tucsonan, a graduate of Tucson High School and a very proud Badger. During her time at Tucson High, she began a lifetime commitment to helping others. Her participation in Anytown, an organization that educates and empowers students to cultivate inclusive communities, set a course for Janet in local, state, and US government.
Jan graduated from the University of Arizona in 1977 earning a B.A. and postgraduate work in Political Science. Coupled with experiencing Tucson High’s incredible history and diverse student body, a cornerstone was laid to build on her passion for social justice and economic equality.
Early in her career, Jan worked for the City of Tucson as an assistant to the City Manager, Joel Valdez. In 1990 she became a small business owner launching Lesher Communications, a public relations firm specializing in government relations and public affairs.
In 2003, Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano asked Jan to serve in her administration and run the Southern Arizona office. Later, Governor Napolitano was confirmed as the Secretary of Homeland Security, and asked Jan to serve as her Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C.
In 2004, Jan was named “Woman of Influence” by Inside Tucson Business. In 2008, she was Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year in Public Policy and received the YMCA Business Leadership Award.
Jan missed her beloved Tucson and in 2010 returned as the special assistant to Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckleberry. Subsequently, she was promoted to Deputy County Administrator. Later, she elected the first woman Pima County Administrator.
Jan works tirelessly and humbly for the Tucson Community. She serves on the board of directors for charitable organizations including Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Tucson Community Food Bank, and La Frontera.
Jan is a Lifetime Member of the Badger Foundation and states that her time at Tucson High provided opportunities for her to advocate and innovate programs that now contribute to the well-being of those she serves.