On Thursday, November 29th, Baxter-Ward fellow Janice Allen Jackson, Class of 1985, returned to her alma mater and shared her accomplishments and advice. In addition to a public speech given about the the government of Augusta, Georgia, Limits of Logic; Jackson attended two William & Mary undergraduate classes during the day.
The first ever public policy major of William & Mary, Janice Allen Jackson now serves as the City Administrator for Augusta, Georgia. Jackson sees her role as, “a fulfilling opportunity to work in [her] home community.” Jackson oversees the budget of Augusta, Georgia and an additional sixteen departments in the county. Some of these departments include: finance, transit, procurement, environmental services, and more.
Jackson takes pleasure in her major responsibilities that include: making policy recommendations, hiring staff, initiating professional development, development of the strategy and identification of resources needed for departments, reviewing various economic proposals, personnel issues, and budget matter. It is safe to say she is a very busy woman.
Jackson shares: “Local government is a multi-faceted operation that is, in some ways, a business and, in other ways, not”. She believes her public policy major from William & Mary has helped her understand this multi-faceted operation a great deal.
On her role as administrator, Jackson said: “The administrator’s position is a complex role, related to politics, but the job itself is apolitical. I always balance that with what I believe, in my professional judgement, is best for the organization and community.” In this people-oriented job, it is obvious she cares a great deal for every individual in her city.
When asked what she is most proud of, Jackson shares her achievement of ISO Class One status for the Augusta fire department, a balanced budget approved on time, each year, without dipping into the fund balance, and the initiation of a demolition program to remove blight with more than 10 times the amount of funding that was previously available.
Jackson also visited an Introduction to Public Policy class. During the question portion, a student asked if she had any advice for graduating seniors. Jackson’s response was simple but incredibly telling: “Find something you’re passionate about and enjoy doing. Make that your career.” It is evident that Janet Allen Jackson has done just that.