New member profile: Jan Lesher

Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher.

Jan Lesher

Pima County Administrator     

Served in this capacity since:

October 2021 

Professional background: 

Jan Lesher started working for Pima County in 2010, quickly advancing to Deputy County Administrator. In October 2021, she became Acting County Administrator, and the Board of Supervisors hired her as County Administrator in April 2022.

Lesher served Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as Chief of Staff, overseeing the daily activities of the agency’s 230,000 employees and a $52 billion budget. Immediately prior to her move with the secretary to Washington, D.C., Lesher was Governor Napolitano’s Chief of Staff. Prior to being named to that position, Lesher served as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Lesher returned to her hometown in 2010 after serving former Governor and Secretary Napolitano since January 2003. 

Born, raised and educated in Tucson, her professional experience is extensive: she served as Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Tucson Economic Development Corp., Executive Director of the Tucson Community Cable Corp. and Vice President of Warner-Amex Cable. She founded Lesher Communications in 1990, handling corporate, public and government relations for various entities for over a decade.

Civic/Community Involvement: 

Lesher’s history of community involvement includes service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Commerce and Economic Development Commission; Arizona Town Hall; the Greater Arizona Development Authority; the Community Food Bank; the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona; and La Frontera. She was named a Woman of Influence by Inside Tucson Business and recognized with the Women Who Lead award from the University of Arizona Women’s Studies Advisory Council in 2004. She was honored as the Metropolitan Tucson Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 2005. In 2008, she was the Arizona Capitol Times Leader of the Year in Public Policy and received the YWCA Business Leadership Award. 

Region’s most pressing issue in your opinion:

Water and economic prosperity

Region’s best opportunity for economic success: 

Logistics and Advanced Manufacturing (both will continue to grow and are not really affected by the home-based labor movement. In fact, they’re bolstered by it.)

What do you like best about what is currently happening at the regional level?

We’re seeing increased focus on collaboration, cooperation and partnerships in the region.

Why is regional collaboration important to you? 

Working together, we can focus on finding answers to critical problems that impact us all regardless of where we live in this valley or if we work for private or public sector.

What’s your No. 1 priority in your current role? 

Making Pima County the workplace environment in which business AND employees can thrive, supporting the region with strong workforce investment programs, housing assistance and educational opportunities.

Personal trivia:

Budding cat lady.