Ex-Warden Digs in Her Heels at Hartsfield-Jackson
By Roishina C. Henderson
Don’t let the 4-inch heels and lip-glossed, sugary smile fool you – Jan Lennon Washington means business.
It’s not uncommon to see her walking the Hartsfield-Jackson grounds every day or dealing with as many as 600 customers in some form or fashion. That’s because she’s in charge of security at the world’s busiest airport.
“I work in a male-dominated industry,” said Washington, “but I was determined and moved up the ranks. The Fulton County resident stands 5-foot-10 (in the 4-inch heels, of course) and holds a second-degree black belt in karate. Adding to her no-nonsense background, the former Alvin Ailey dancer was a deputy warden at a Virginia jailhouse, too.
In Virginia, she played a major role in building a jail from the ground up at the Riverside Region Jail — literally. At the Hopewell, Va. jail, she helped oversee construction, created a command unit, implemented new policies, procedures and more.
Washington has been security manager at Hartsfield-Jackson for more than five years and oversees a staff of about 40 employees. “I love my job,” she said. “I work with a diverse group of people, and I work with some great leaders in the Aviation Department.”
Washington is responsible for the access control system and making certain it is in compliance with all laws. “We have to make sure that this Airport is top-flight and first-class in security. I’m in charge of the security clearance on more than 42,000 badged employees, and I oversee security compliance for more than 650 tenants and 225,000 passengers who pass through this Airport daily. I also have to make sure I coordinate with Transportation Security Administration, Atlanta Police Department, FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We all work together as a team in making sure everything is safe.”
So what’s an average day like for Washington?
“It’s having innovative meetings, dealing with trouble-shooting on the system, networking, strategic planning and being accessible to my staff,” said the married mother of two sons, Khyle (age 7) and Khris, (age 4).
Washington has a bachelor’s degree in pre-law from North Carolina Central University and a master’s in criminal justice/security administration from Coppin State University.
Which all go to show – Jan Lennon Washington means business.
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.