XCOM recruits Kelly during The Lazarus Project in the Tactical Legacy Pack. Acting on a tip from Lily Shen, John Bradford and Shen explore rumors of an ADVENT prison train carrying an important prisoner for interrogation. They discover the prisoner is Jane Kelly, the leader of a local resistance cell called Children of the Earth that has a fearsome reputation for killing aliens. After they free her, Kelly is eager to join XCOM. She participates in the rescue of Peter Osei, Ana Ramirez and Dr. Richard Tygan.
In XCOM 2, Kelly is a rookie soldier who survives Operation Gatecrasher and is promoted to the Ranger class. Her notoriety is such that the Chosen acknowledge her by name if they capture her. By the end of the war, she has achieved the rank of Colonel.
After the defeat of ADVENT and the Elders, Kelly oversees the foundation of a semi-autonomous XCOM peacekeeping force called the Reclamation Agency and serves as Reclamation's first Director. During The Lazarus Project, Bradford comments that she ends up more famous than anyone from XCOM except the Commander.
Kelly is originally from Ireland. During her days with Children of the Earth, she was known as a quiet, calculating leader who commanded loyalty due to her skills, not her words. Her callsign during The Lazarus Project missions is Quiet. While overseeing the foundation of the Reclamation Agency, she advocates for the integration of alien and human agents as a necessary component of the agency's success. Her conviction is reflected in the composition of Reclamation's first squad, Chimera Squad, which includes both humans and aliens.
Kelly supervised Torque during post-War XCOM training, when Torque volunteered to serve as an OPFOR soldier for XCOM soldiers-in-training. The two formed a bond, and Torque requested transfer to Reclamation when Kelly was promoted to Director. Torque was assigned to Chimera Squad with Kelly's approval.
In XCOM 2 and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Jane Kelly is a playable soldier assigned by default to the roster upon completion of the tutorial mission. In the Tactical Legacy Pack DLC, she is recruited in mission 2 of The Lazarus Project Legacy Op as a playable soldier. She is a playable hero in the mobile game XCOM Legends. In XCOM: Chimera Squad, she is Director of the Reclamation Agency and provides leadership and moral support for Chimera Squad's agents. She is voiced in XCOM: Chimera Squad by Kate Higgins.
- Although her nationality is Irish, Kelly speaks with an American accent in both XCOM 2 and XCOM: Chimera Squad.