Van Jones is the Founder of the Dream Corps, a social entrepreneur, a CNN political commentator, Emmy Award-winning producer, and a New York Times best-selling author. Famous for his heart-felt election night coverage, Jones showed up as “the voice of reason” for people in red states and blue throughout the volatile 2016 political season. In 2019, Van and his team at #cut50 succeeded in passing the FIRST STEP Act (a bipartisan Federal bill that the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation).
Jones has founded and led numerous social enterprises engaged in social and environmental justice.
- The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which promotes criminal justice reform
- Color of Change, which works for racial fairness through its over one million members
- Rebuild The Dream, a 21st Century “think tank” that champions innovative solutions to fix the U.S. economy and uplift the next generation. which promotes innovative policy solutions.
- The Dream Corps, an organization that brings people together to solve America’s toughest problems. The Dream Corps’ major initiatives are: Dream Corps TECH, aimed to help 100,000 young women and men from underrepresented backgrounds find success in the tech sector; Dream Corps JUSTICE, an initiative focused on making communities safer while reducing the number of people in our prisons and jails. And Green For All, which advances environmental solutions that prioritize families and workers living on the frontlines of some of the worst pollution in America.
- REFORM Alliance, which aims to transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing.
- Magic Labs Media, founded by Jones and where he currently serves as its President.
Jones is a Yale-educated attorney. He is the author of three New York Times best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy (2008) and Rebuild the Dream (2012) and Beyond the Messy Truth (2017).
He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act. Signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Green Jobs Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” During the Obama Administration, the legislation has resulted in $500 million in national funding for green jobs training.
In 2009, Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama. In this role, Jones helped to lead the inter-agency process that oversaw the multi-billion dollar investment in skills training and jobs development within the environmental and green energy sectors. Together with #cut50, Van succeeded in passing the FIRST STEP Act (a bipartisan Federal bill that the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation).
Jones 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’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World”; and the Root’s 2014 “The Root 100.” In 2017, Van Jones signed a management deal with Roc Nation, becoming the first political commentator & activist in their family.
First Name Van
Last Name Jones
Position CNN Host and Dream Corps Founder