Van Jones is a civil rights activist, social entrepreneur, author and former Obama White House advisor who is widely known for his work with CNN, as a commentator and host of “The Van Jones Show."
Over the past two decades, Jones has launched a number of thriving social enterprises which are bringing people together to solve some of America's toughest economic and environmental problems and empower the most vulnerable in our society.
He is the founder and president of Dream Corps. Its major initiatives are #YesWeCode, aimed to help 100,000 youth from low-opportunity backgrounds find success in the tech sector; #cut50, focused on making communities safer while reducing the number of people in our prisons and jails; Green For All, which advances environmental solutions that prioritize families and workers living on the frontlines of some of the worst pollution in America; and #LoveArmy, a values-based movement working for an America where everyone counts.
Other social enterprises that bear his imprint are Color of Change, which works for racial fairness through its 1,000,000+ members; Rebuild The Dream, a "think tank" that champions innovative economic policy solutions; and The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization promoting criminal justice reform.
A Yale-educated attorney, Jones is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together,” in which he calls for setting aside political tribalism for a deeper patriotism of bipartisanship; “The Green Collar Economy,” the definitive book on green jobs; and “Rebuild the Dream,” a roadmap for progressives that chronicles his journey from environmental and human rights activist to White House policy advisor.
Jones was the major proponent for the Green Jobs Act. Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, the act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” In 2009, Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House, helping run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.
He has been honored with numerous awards and spotlighted on several lists of high achievers, including the World Economic Forum's "Young Global Leader" designation; Rolling Stone's 2012 "12 Leaders Who Get Things Done"; Time magazine's 2009 "100 Most Influential People in The World"; and the Root's 2013 "The Root 100."