Shortly after a Changeling revealed to Constable Odo of Deep Space 9 that the Founders had infiltrated the Alpha Quadrant, Admiral Leyton and a delegation of high ranking Starfleet officers met with Jaresh-Inyo recommending more stringent security measures on Earth to combat the new threat. Jaresh-Inyo rejected the suggestions, calling them "extreme".
Several months later, Jaresh-Inyo reluctantly agreed to implement these security measures in all Starfleet ships and facilities at the recommendation of Admiral Leyton, who now had Benjamin Sisko and Odo to add credibility. He later authorized the deployment of Starfleet troops on Earth and the institution of martial law in response to the threat of Dominion invasion. Jaresh-Inyo rescinded the measures after Leyton was exposed as having fabricated the threat in an attempt to launch a military takeover of Earth. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
|Presidents of the United Federation of Planets|
|Jonathan Archer (2184-2192) • unidentified individual (c. 2257) • Human male (c. 2286) • Efrosian male (c. 2293) • Jaresh-Inyo (c. 2372)|
It is unknown exactly when Jaresh-Inyo was elected President, although the script of "Homefront" stated that he was "recently" elected. The script described Jaresh-Inyo himself as "willowy" and "contemplative." Regarding his comment that he never sought his position, Ronald D. Moore stated, "We assume the Fed President was duly elected, but that he reluctantly was induced to run for the position." (AOL chat, 1997)
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writers saw Jaresh-Inyo as being like former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, both of whom are viewed as good men, although not having been so in conflict situations. "We hoped that the idea that Jaresh-Inyo comes from a pacifistic, herbivorous-based culture, that he was the kind of guy who doesn't inherently fight, would make Leyton's point of view more understandable," explained Robert Hewitt Wolfe. "Basically, [Jaresh-Inyo] is Jimmy Carter, a very good man." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 299))
When actor Herschel Sparber first learned about the character of Jaresh-Inyo, he expected he had slim chance of winning the role. Because he was very eager to guest-star in an episode of Star Trek, however, Sparber enthusiastically managed to persuade Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Casting Director Ron Surma to allow him to read for the part. Sparber, feeling sure he wouldn't be given the role, intended to use the experience in order to meet Surma. The actor had no idea how he was meant to behave while trying out for the part, so he developed a unique perception of the character.
As it turned out when they first met, Ron Surma himself almost outrightly dismissed the notion of Herschel Sparber playing Jaresh-Inyo, saying, "You know, you're really not right for this." The actor persevered, however, later recalling, "I told him, 'Okay, but, let's just try it while I'm here, because I've had a lot of thoughts about the character.'" Surma was impressed enough with Sparber's reading to introduce the performer to the producers. "I went in and they liked it too – and I got the part!" Sparber exclaimed. His highly individual take on the character caught the imagination of the producers. "As Jaresh-Inyo, I wanted to combine gentleness with an inherent, underlying power," he related. "The producers liked that because it was different from everything else they had seen and I think that's why I got the role."
Partly due to the extremely large build of his body, Herschel Sparber was dumbfounded to be cast as Jaresh-Inyo. "I'm 6'9'' and weigh 300 pounds, so to play a character who was as peaceful and as peace-loving as Jaresh-Inyo was a surprise", he explained. "I was very pleased with the part." The hardest aspect of portraying Jaresh-Inyo was enduring the Grazerite makeup required for the role, although Sparber felt relaxed about having it put on and taken off.
Following his work on DS9 Season 4 two-parter "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", Herschel Sparber was open to the possibility of reappearing as Jaresh-Inyo on Star Trek, commenting, "If they want Jaresh-Inyo back, I'm just a phone call away..." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 10)
The DS9 writing staff, on the other hand, was disappointed with the depiction of Jaresh-Inyo. "The casting decision didn't particularly work," stated Ira Steven Behr. Robert Hewitt Wolfe was likewise "a little disappointed." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 299))
Director David Livingston was similarly dissatisfied with the characterization of Jaresh-Inyo and how the Grazerite makeup combined with the portrayal as a considerably soft alien. "My responsibility is to make him compelling, but that's how the character was written, and I wonder in hindsight if he should have had more of an edge," Livingston considered. "Maybe I should have fought against that in terms of directing his performance." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 111-112) The director clarified, "He came off too soft to be the leader of the Federation." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 299))
The novel Articles of the Federation establishes that Jaresh-Inyo had previously served as the Federation Councilor from Grazer. Articles established Jaresh-Inyo as a one-term president, governing from 2369 to 2372, the year "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" took place in, implying that he was running for re-election at the time of those episodes. By January 2373, Jaresh-Inyo is out of office.
In mid-2380, Jaresh-Inyo dies on Mars, the planet to which he had retired, and the current presidential administration attends his funeral, as does his entire family. Jaresh-Inyo was a follower of the semtir tradition, which called for his body to be destroyed. The cover of the novel actually features Starfleet officers folding the Flag of the Federation to give to his wife as part of an honor guard.
The novella A Gutted World featured an alternate universe where the Cardassians discovered the Bajoran wormhole, and subsequently, the Dominion. In this universe, Jaresh-Inyo was replaced by a Changeling sometime between 2369 and 2374.