Green Festival Speakers

Van Jones



Van Jones is president and co-founder of http://rebuildthedream.com/" target="_blank">Rebuild the Dream, a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity.

Van has a 15-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of three, thriving nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. He is the author of a New York Times best seller, The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs.

The World Economic Forum named Van a Young Global Leader in 2005. In 2008, Fast Company magazine said he had one of the 12 most creative minds on Earth. TIME magazine named Van a global environmental hero in 2008; it named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.

A Yale-educated attorney, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House in 2009. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending.

During the 2010-11 academic year, Van taught environmental policy and politics at Princeton University. Today, he serves on the boards of several prestigious organizations, including the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund.

A globally-recognized pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy, Van is one of America's leading champions of smart solutions to create pathways out of poverty and rebuild America's middle class.

The Clean-Energy Economy

Van is the founder of Green For All, the national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally.

Human Rights

While best known for his promotion of green jobs, Van has been hard at work for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America's toughest problems. In addition to Green For All, he is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.

Awards & Honors

Van's work has earned him many awards and honors, including:

  • Van was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.

  • Van was designated by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader."

  • Van is a recipient of the international Ashoka Fellowship.

  • Van was one of Essence Magazine's 25 most inspiring African Americans in 2008. Last year, Ebony Magazine named him one of the Power 150.