CNN Political Contributor, Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones is a globally recognized innovator of the clean energy economy as well as a renowned human rights activist. His book The Green-Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Solve Our Two Biggest Problems is considered an authoritative guide to creating and promoting green jobs. Until September 2009, Jones had been serving as Special Adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Around that time, Jones was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” for his efforts and determination to improve the world. He’s successfully founded several nonprofit organizations including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights ( which promotes criminal justice reform), Color of Change (which works for racial fairness through its 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), The Dream Corps (which promotes innovative policy solutions) and Green For All (a national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities).
Jones is a Yale-educated attorney. He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy (2008) and Rebuild the Dream (2012). The second book chronicles 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 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.
Van is on the board of several organizations and non-profits, including: Presidio, Campaign for America’s Future, Demos, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and AFRON African Robotics Network.
– One of The Root’s 100 Honorees for 2014– One of National Priorities Project’s 30th Anniversary Democracy Champions– One of Ebony Magazine’s 2013 Power 100– One of The Root’s 100 Honorees for 2013– One of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2009– Recipient of the NAACP’s Image Award– Rolling Stones’ “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done” in 2012– One of Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Inspiring African Americans” in 2008– One of Ebony Magazine’s 2011 Power 150– One of Fast Company’s 12 Most Creative Minds on Earth– Visiting Fellow in Collaborative Economics at Presidio Graduate School– Member of the international Ashoka Fellowship– A 2005 World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader”– Former distinguished visiting professor at Princeton University– Former Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund