Born and raised in Coralville; graduated top of class, West High School. Thanks to Iowa public school education, attended Princeton University and Stanford Law School.
Served her country as a US Diplomat in the State Department for over 25 years, including time in Germany, Poland, Turkey, Mexico and Canada.
Volunteers on the boards of Shelter House and Agudas Achim Synagogue. Active member of Johnson County Democrats Central Committee.
Janice Weiner has deep roots in the community. She grew up in Coralville, attended Coralville Central, was part of the first cohort at Northwest, and graduated from West High in 1976. She spent her senior year as an AFS exchange student to Belgium. Throughout school, she was involved in the music program, and was active in Iowa City Community Theatre. She attended Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude in 1980, and earned a law degree from Stanford.
Janice focused her professional career on foreign affairs, serving as a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service for 26 years. Her overseas posts included East Germany (where she was fortunate to serve when the Berlin Wall fell); Brussels, Belgium; Ankara, Turkey (twice – first as embassy human rights offer, subsequently as political counselor); Warsaw, Poland; Toronto, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; and Düsseldorf, Germany (as U.S. Consul General). While in Düsseldorf, Janice founded a German-American Business Roundtable and a professional women’s group, and served for three years as an ex officio member of the International School of Düsseldorf school board. In Washington, she worked on legislative affairs as a liaison with Congress. After retiring from the Foreign Service, she served as a policy adviser for the American Foreign Service Association. Janice speaks German, French, Turkish, Polish, and conversational Spanish and Dutch.
After Janice moved back to Iowa City with her younger daughter, she worked as a short term substitute, then as a field organizer for the Democrats in 2016 for three intensive months. She is a member of the boards of Shelter House and Agudas Achim Synagogue, a member of the program committee of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. She enjoys the arts, sports, community band, running, yoga, singing with the Hospice Singers, and keeping up with their dogs.
Growing up in Coralville, Janice would have been hard-pressed to escape politics. Her parents cared deeply about both local and national politics, tracking and discussing current events – one of her earliest memories is watching President Kennedy speak to the nation on TV. Voting, they impressed upon her, was a privilege not to be ignored. Janice recalls spreading out an enormous absentee ballot on the floor of her college dorm in fall 1976 as she prepared to vote for the first time.
Janice attended Coralville Central, the newly opened Northwest Junior High, and graduated from West High School at the top of her class in 1976. She spent her senior year as an AFS exchange student in Belgium. She credits her Iowa public school education with her admission to Princeton University, where she graduated in 1980 magna cum laude, winning a senior thesis prize. After a year’s break, she attended law school at Stanford University, graduating in 1984.
After a post-graduate fellowship at an international law institute in Munich, Janice practiced law in Palo Alto CA before joining the U.S. State Department in November 1987. Her first posting was in East Berlin, both before and after the Berlin Wall fell – an experience that combined totalitarianism with a grassroots, peaceful revolution, dual lessons that Janice never forgot. She then served in Brussels, Belgium, and Ankara, Turkey, where she won awards as Embassy human rights officer during the height of the PKK insurgency, forging relationships with many who risked their lives to defend human rights.
Subsequent posts included Washington; Warsaw, Poland; Toronto, Canada; Ankara, Turkey as political counselor; Mexico City as embassy press attaché; and Düsseldorf, Germany as Consul General. Her final posting was in the bureau of legislative affairs at the State Department, liaising with Capitol Hill. 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. She moved back to Iowa in 2015 with her younger daughter, who will graduate from West High this spring.
Janice likes to run; enjoys theater – she grew up doing community theater here with her parents – loves music, the outdoors, and her dogs. She has two daughters and a new granddaughter. She is on the board of Shelter House, and of Agudas Achim Synagogue; she is a member of the program committee of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council; a member of the Johnson County Democrats Central Committee; and enjoys playing with the Community Band, singing with the Hospice Singers, and helping out at Free Lunch when the Dems take their turn.
Janice has always had a passion for politics. 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 and hear the subtleties. 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 only deepened her determination to ensure that good, progressive candidates who care about all the people get into office. Her credo is that, as a country, we are ultimately measured by how well we treat those at the bottom of society’s rungs.