Janice L. Warden, a retired Social Security Administration executive, died Friday of a stroke related to leukemia at Howard County General Hospital. The Columbia resident was 61.
As deputy commissioner for operations from 1991 to 1998, she was responsible for day-to-day operation of 1,300 field offices, 37 telephone service and seven processing centers. About 50,000 people worked for the branches she supervised.
Born Janice L. Roberts in Sharon, Ga., and raised in New York City's Harlem, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from the City University of New York. She also studied at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, the University of Virginia's Darden Business School and Brookings Institution in Washington.
"She was a very good leader, approachable and sensitive. As a manager she had a high degree of professionalism," said Huldah Lieberman, her retired deputy, who lives in Catonsville. "She was generous and kind, and was extremely well-liked at the agency. She was able to get effective results."
Ms. Warden joined the agency in 1963 as a claims representative and rose quickly. She held regional posts in New York and Atlanta and had been a deputy associate commissioner for governmental affairs, assessment and disability.
From 1998 to 2000, when she retired, she was interagency representation to the vice president's office in Washington. Selected by then-Vice President Al Gore, she worked in an initiative to streamline and improve governmental operations using new technology and work strategies.
Ms. Warden was a volunteer Saturday tutor at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy on Calvert Street, helping fifth-graders with math and English.
"She saw it as a mission," said Jeff Sindler, the academy's headmaster. "She would bring in additional literature. And when the boys moved on, she followed up and found out how they were doing."
She also took two academy students to her retirement ceremony, held at the vice president's office, and obtained permission for them to sit in Mr. Gore's chair.
She was also a past volunteer at the House of Ruth and a former board member of Uniting for Life, an organization that promotes minority participation in organ and bone marrow transplants.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, 5901 Cedar Fern Court, Columbia.
Survivors include a daughter, Kimberley Warden of Washington, and her partner, Julian Moyse II of Columbia. Her marriage to Louis Warden ended in divorce.