SOCIAL IMPACT: In 2018, Van and #cut50 led the winning campaign to pass the FIRST STEP Act — a bipartisan federal bill that The New York Times called the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation. This was not Van’s first history-making legislative victory: a decade earlier, Van was the primary champion of the Green Jobs Act of 2007. In 2009, he worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House.
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, Fast Company's 2008 "12 Most Creative Minds On Earth," Rolling Stone’s 2012 “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done,” Variety's 2018 "New York Power List," TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2009, NAACP Image Award in 2010, and a WEBBY Special Achievement award in 2017.
In 2017, Van signed a management deal with Roc Nation, becoming the first political commentator in their family. In 1990, he earned a B.S. in communication and political science from the University of Tennessee at Martin. In 1993, Van earned a degree from Yale Law School.
Born in Jackson, Tennessee, Van lives in New York City and Los Angeles. He is a proud father of two sons.