Jill is a fourth generation Nevadan and started life on her family's Flying Flapjack Ranch in Lovelock, Nevada. She grew up in California, where her father trained pilots for the Air Force, and her family continued to spend time every year at the Lovelock ranch and at the family home at Lake Tahoe.
Jill received her first bachelor's degree in dental hygiene from the University of California, San Francisco. After graduation, she took a job with a company in Saudi Arabia where she lived for three years. During her time in the Middle East, Jill learned Arabic and still speaks a bit of it. It was her time in this region that sparked Jill's interest in cultural anthropology, the field of study she pursued when she returned to the States. She received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1970, and her master's degree (1974) and Ph.D. (1988) in the same subject from the University of California, Davis.
Jill has spent her career as an educator, teaching at Western Nevada Community College, Sierra Nevada College, the National Judicial College and the University of California, San Francisco. Jill served 18 years on the Nevada Board of Regents, a non-partisan, elected governing board for the Nevada System of Higher Education. As a Regent, Jill served as chairman and vice chairman. She served in many other capacities on the board including as chairman of the Committee on Diversity, and she led the charge to bring satellite campuses and distance learning opportunities to rural Nevada communities.
Most recently, Jill has served as Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party where she was a key player in planning and executing the successful January Caucuses. Jill tirelessly traveled the state working with local party activists to train caucus volunteers and encourage all Nevadans - Democrats, Republicans and Independents - to participate in Nevada's Caucus. Turnout for the Caucus exceeded all predictions, with 120,000 Nevadans participating at more than 1,700 precinct meetings across the state.
Jill is married to Steve Talbot - a large animal veterinarian in the Carson Valley - and they have called Gardnerville home for more than 20 years. They have a son, Ryan, and a daughter, Tobyn