Meet Janice Weiner
Janice Weiner grew up in a politically aware family in Coralville, Iowa and has carried that with her her entire life – through her Foreign Service career to today.
Janice is a graduate of Iowa City’s West High School. She spent her senior year as an AFS exchange student in Belgium, which opened her mind to the world. She credits her public school education with her admission to Princeton University, and later Stanford Law School.
Janice joined the U.S. State Department in 1987. Her first posting was in East Berlin, both before and after the Berlin Wall fell, an experience that combined totalitarianism with a peaceful grassroots revolution. She served in Belgium, then Turkey, where she won awards as Embassy human rights officer during the height of the PKK insurgency and adopted her older daughter. Subsequent posts included Washington; Warsaw, Poland (when she adopted her younger daughter); Toronto, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; and Düsseldorf, Germany as Consul General. Her final posting was in Washington, liaising with Capitol Hill, all while single parenting.
After retiring from the Foreign Service, Janice worked for the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the bargaining unit and professional association of the Foreign Service. Janice moved home to Iowa in 2015 with her younger daughter, who graduated from West High in 2018. Her young granddaughter – now 4 – has lived with her since she was 11 months old, so she is “single parenting” again and viewing Iowa through the child-raising lens.
Janice is currently an at-large member of Iowa City City Council and serves as president of the board of Agudas Achim synagogue. She has served on the boards of Shelter House and UNA/USA and is a member of the program committee of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. She has worked at all levels of the Democratic Party in Iowa. She is a founding member of the grassroots group Potluck Insurgency. She enjoys playing with the Community Band and helping out at Free Lunch when the Dems take their turn. She worked as a short-term substitute teacher for ICCSD and was executive director of the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC).
In the Foreign Service, she forged relationships across the political spectrum, with all walks of life and all socio-economic levels. She learned to listen, ask questions, and learn. In 1984, Janice ran Get Out the Vote for the Iowa Democrats in Johnson County (when Harkin was first elected to the US Senate). In fall 2016, she dusted off her grassroots political skills and worked for three intensive months as a field organizer. The results of the 2016 elections deepened her determination to ensure that good, progressive candidates who care about all the people get into office. She believes that we are all ultimately measured by how well we treat those who have the least; she is committed to combating racism at all levels, pushing for equity, voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, child care, public education and – in the face of the ongoing pandemic – promoting public health.