Following college, Jerry worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation conducting feasibility investigations of potential multipurpose water resources projects in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming (1961-1966). From 1966 to 1970, he worked as an Economic Advisor to the Royal Irrigation Department in Thailand, conducting studies and providing training for Thai counterparts to improve the operations of existing water projects and determine the feasibility of potential new projects.
Jerry's next assignment was in Washington, D.C., where he worked for a year in the Operation and Maintenance Division of the Bureau of Reclamation. He worked for 3 years (1971-1974) as Staff Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, where he supervised a team representing the Department of the Interior on interagency committees of the U.S. Water Resources Council. The committees were responsible for preparing the 1975 National Water Assessment, coordinating federal and state water programs, and developing procedures for each agency to implement Principles and Standards for Planning Water Projects.
Jerry left government service to join Harza Engineering Company in Chicago, where he served as senior economist and project manager. Projects included developing a computerized model for use by the Office of Management and Budget to establish budget priorities for federal water projects and formulating a linear programming model for use in projecting water requirements for energy development in the Yellowstone River Basin. Other projects included conducting a management organization study of 22 Royal Thai Government agencies; drafting legislation that was enacted by the National Assembly to resolve institutional conflicts, overlap, and deficiencies; and managing a feasibility study for a multipurpose water project on the border between Peru and Ecuador.