Daniel Ross-Jones

Daniel Ross-Jones

Class Year


Current home

Sacramento, California



Current Position

Finance Budget Analyst at the State of California, Department of Finance

As a finance budget analyst for California’s Department of Finance, Daniel Ross-Jones ’06 helps shape public policy decisions through setting and managing the governmental budget. His duties include reviewing, analyzing, and making recommendations on funding requests from state departments; consulting with federal, state, and local leaders and community members to inform his policy analysis; and conducting surveys to develop forecasts and draft legislation.

Mr. Ross-Jones continues to support the Carthage community as a leadership donor, Alford Park Society and Denhart Society member, and Alumni Council member. He has also volunteered as an equity coach for Carthage first-year and transfer students.

“I am a self-starter with an insatiable curiosity and have found ways to put my creativity, imagination, spoken and written communication, logical reasoning, and research skills to productive use.”

Daniel Ross-Jones, ’06

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“My career has not taken a singular trajectory. In fact, I have worked in three discrete fields since I graduated from Carthage. I am a self-starter with an insatiable curiosity and have found ways to put my creativity, imagination, spoken and written communication, logical reasoning, and research skills to productive use.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“A solid liberal arts foundation will prepare one to face any challenge with head and shoulders held high. Carthage provides such a foundation. Critical thinking, problem-solving, applied research, and an interdisciplinary awareness are core to the Carthage curriculum. The jobs that were available when I graduated are not the same jobs available now. (The career I wanted when I graduated is not the same career I find myself in now!) My Carthage education is still the foundation for my work, and I still draw upon the skills I first developed at Carthage every day.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“When I was a high schooler exploring college, I had a list of requirements. Carthage met none of those requirements. I was visiting three other institutions in the region for a college visit and my dad pushed me to visit Carthage — even going so far as calling to arrange the visit without telling me. I sulked as we drove in on Highway E from I-94, convinced it was a waste of time. We parked in the visitor’s parking lot next to the Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center, and it took all of 30 seconds of the walk along Campus Drive for me to feel that Carthage was the exact place for me. That feeling was confirmed as I was walked on my campus tour (led by a tour guide who would later become my roommate and fraternity father). By the time my dad and I got back to the car, I had all but forgotten about the other schools we toured and applied for early admission to Carthage.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“The second airplane trip I took in my life was a J-Term trip to India during my sophomore year. My sister was adopted from India, and there had been a lifelong curiosity in the back of my mind to visit her birth land. She was very young when she joined our family in Minnesota and had no direct recollection of India. The study tour was focused on religious practices in India, but for me, it was an opportunity to build a closer relationship with my sister and deepen our family’s experience. Coincidentally, it also served as a formative experience for me as I later attended seminary and became a pastor.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“Embrace uncertainty. Sit with wonder. Probe your curiosity. I was on track for a specific college major all through high school, and Carthage didn’t offer it so I was going to create it. But my desire to study that major left by the third week of my freshman year at Carthage. It felt like a setback, but it was the greatest win of my young life. I had to question that deeply-held conviction, untangle internal and external expectations of myself, and really get to the core of who I am. I didn’t totally discover who I am (that takes a lifetime), but I identified the skills I’d need to get me closer. And, even more importantly, I came away with a chosen family that now literally spans the globe.”

Are you a Carthage graduate who is excelling in your field?