Angeles Magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles, and in 2014 it named her one of the ten most inspiring women in Los Angeles. Jean currently serves as CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the world’s largest provider of programs and services for LGBT people.
Jean has been an activist on LGBT issues since 1979. She served as the lead plaintiff in the successful landmark lawsuit against Georgetown University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She also was the first openly gay or lesbian person in history to receive a top secret security clearance from the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1989, with her appointment as Deputy Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), she became the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person in the Federal government (a distinction she held until 1993 when President Clinton appointed Roberta Achtenberg).
In 1993, Jean began her first six-year tenure at the helm of the Center (to which she returned in June 2003). She led the Center through a period of unprecedented expansion, dramatically increasing the number of clients and volunteers, the diversity and volume of services, the number of staff, and the size of the budget. She also oversaw the purchase and renovation of a $7 million facility and built the nation’s first $10 million dollar LGBT organization endowment fund. During her second tenure, Jean has returned the Center to financial stability, dramatically expanded programming, and tripled the revenue budget to $97 million. She has also led the Center’s historic $67 million capital campaign to build the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, scheduled to open in early 2019.
From 2001 to 2003, Jean served as executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, leading an organizational turnaround that brought the Task Force to financial solvency and increased the annual revenues to what was then an all-time high. Among other program accomplishments, she focused the organization’s political efforts at the state and local level by building a field organizing department which orchestrated the defeat of nearly all anti-LGBT ballot measures in the 2001 and 2002 election cycles.