Jan is the Manager of the Pears Institute and its Head of Communications. She joined the Institute at its inception in 2010.
Jan has a PhD in inter-organizational decision-making from Durham University. She has worked as a strategic communications consultant for a wide range of organizations in the public and private sector, including central government departments and agencies, the City of London Corporation and further and higher education institutions. She was Director of Communications at the Learning and Skills Council.
Jan publishes on food history. Her first book, English Sausages (Prospect Books, 2015) was reviewed by the Times Literary Supplement (May, 2016) and described as a ‘meticulous and entertaining study [with] a series of elegant historical essays’. Her second book Pickles – A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2019), translated into Japanese and Korean, chronicles the cultural and gastronomic importance of pickles from the earliest civilizations to the 21st century. She is currently writing a third book which explores the heritage and cultural significance of the sausage in Europe, the distillation of eighteen months field research.