Van Jones is a CNN political commentator, regularly appearing across the network’s programming and special political coverage. He has hosted CNN’s The Van Jones Show, The Redemption Project with Van Jones, and The Messy Truth with Van Jones. Jones is also the co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning virtual reality series, The Messy Truth VR Experience.
Jones is the CEO of REFORM Alliance, which launched in January 2019. The mission of the REFORM Alliance is to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and parole. REFORM is backed by a bi-partisan and diverse group of sports, entertainment and business leaders, including award-winning recording artist Meek Mill; Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin; entrepreneur and business mogul Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter; Kraft Group CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Brooklyn Nets co-owner and philanthropic investor Clara Wu Tsai; Third Point LLC CEO and founder Daniel S. Loeb; Galaxy Digital CEO and founder Michael E. Novogratz; Vista Equity Partners founder, chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith.
Jones has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years. He has founded and led many thriving social enterprises, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps – a social justice accelerator that houses #YesWeCode, #GreenForAll, and #cut50, which recently led the charge to pass 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 is a Yale-educated attorney and author of three New York Times best-selling books, Beyond the Messy Truth (2017), The Green Collar Economy (2008) and Rebuild the Dream (2012), about his journey as an environmental and human rights activist to becoming a White House policy advisor. 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 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, he 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.
He has also been honored with numerous awards and spotlighted on several lists of high achievers including: an Emmy Award; the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” designation; Rolling Stone’s “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done”; TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World”; an NAACP President’s Award, and The Root’s “The Root 100.”