Jane Keeney Roberts was born in 1941 in San Diego, California. She attended San Diego public schools and played junior division tennis, and in 1955 she was ranked number five in the nation among girls 15 and under.
Roberts received her MA in French in 1963 from the Middlebury College Graduate School of French in France, and was hired in the French Department of the University of Redlands. There she met her future husband Julian Roberts (Jay), who taught chemistry. She also coached the girls' tennis team for two years.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Jane worked part-time teaching French and tennis and raising Jeffrey and Annie. From 1990 to 1998 she taught French and coached both the boys' and girls' tennis teams at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California.
Jane's interest in women's issues, reproductive health, and international family planning goes back 30 years. In 2001, she joined the PLANet campaign that worked to build American support for international family planning. When the U.S. Administration decided to defund UNFPA, she started asking Americans to show their support for UNFPA's lifesaving work by sending in one dollar and the idea worked.