Congratulations Van Jones! Former RAN Board member is now White House Green Jobs Advisor

Written by Branden Barber

Topics: Climate

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Author-activist tapped as White House ‘green’ jobs adviser –

Van Jones. What an amazing human being he is. One of the most passionate, articulate speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure to see and to meet. Not only does he have an impressive array of accomplishments to his name (Yale Law grad, co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, founder and executive director of Green for All) but he’s a truly remarkable man. A notoriously loving father of two, he grew up in Oakland and has risen above so much to become a truly inspired, and remarkably inspiring leader. And, he was on the RAN board of directors before he chose to narrow his focus – a focus that has led him to serve in this most hopeful of administrations in Washington. We now truly have a friend in the White House. Read on below to catch this New York Times story on his being chosen for this new and vital role, and check him out towards the end of this short RAN video.

Van – we’re all behind you.


The New York Times
March 10, 2009

Author-activist tapped as White House ‘green’ jobs adviser

Author and activist Van Jones will serve as a special White House adviser for “green” jobs, enterprise and innovation.

Jones, 40, will work within the Council on Environmental Quality, which coordinates President Obama’s climate, energy and other environmental policy initiatives with federal agencies.

“Van Jones has been a strong voice for green jobs, and we look forward to having him work with departments and agencies to advance the president’s agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources,” CEQ Chairwoman Nancy Sutley said in a written statement last night.

Jones, a Yale Law School graduate and veteran human rights and environmental activist, participated last month in the first meeting of the White House Task Force on Middle-Class Working Families. The panel, convened by Vice President Joe Biden, focused on how the public sector can create “green-collar” jobs such as installing solar panels and retrofitting inefficient buildings (E&ENews PM, Feb. 27).

Jones urged Biden and other administration officials who participated in the Philadelphia panel to use the $787 billion economic stimulus to provide training for such jobs, which cannot be outsourced. Economically depressed areas should be a priority, he underscored.

“Let’s green the ghetto first,” Jones said to applause.

Jones will now help shape the administration’s energy and climate initiatives, with special emphasis on improvements and economic opportunities in vulnerable communities, CEQ officials said.

Jones, who could not be reached for comment, is the author of the 2008 book “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems” and the co-founder of the Oakland, Calif.-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Most recently, he served as a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, an influential think tank in Washington, D.C.

Joe Romm, a current Center for American Progress senior fellow and former assistant energy secretary during the Clinton administration, called Jones a “tireless” advocate for green-collar jobs in inner cities.

“He pushed this issue when no one was interested in it,” Romm added.

Jones’ candor and talent for firing up audiences will help in his new job, Romm posited.

“A big part of these bully pulpit jobs is selling ideas inside and outside of the administration,” he said. “Selling is one of his strong suits.”

Jones, who does not need Senate confirmation, will start his new job March 16, a CEQ spokeswoman said.

Copyright 2009 E&E Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

For more news on energy and the environment, visit

10 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Justin says:

    Jones is typical of the President’s foresight and intelligence to pick the best possible people for all jobs! Now let’s all work with them.

  2. Dodie Shepard says:

    Congratulations, we need you and more like you. Lets take the pressure off of this beloved planet.

  3. Patricia Long says:

    May God bless you in your work! Our country needs people like you and Barack Obama!

  4. CAS says:

    I hope Van Jones will sign up for a free cessna ride with Southwings over the toxic devestation happening in WV, Ky & the remainder of Appalachia concerning Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining (MTR). It would be a great place to begin and they would welcome his visit! Otherwise it is almost impossible to get a good REAL LIVE look at what is happening since these sites are typically surrounded by guards. I’d love for Obama to fly over, but I will simply throw it out there to Jones for the time being. Good Luck Jones! Congratulations!

  5. Carol D Thacker says:

    I want to have a green job. will you hire me?
    I can kick butt. I need a job.

  6. Linda Delair says:

    It was just a matter of time for Van to do the work he was born to do. He has natural intelligence, charisma, passion, and determination to pull this nation up by its bootstraps and out of the nosedive we have been in since we gave our jobs and innovation away.

  7. Noah Frere says:

    Yay! I’m reading Green-collared Economy right now and loving it.

  8. ecorlergo says:

    very intresting

  9. BabsNJ says:

    so long Mummia loving, communist, radical, a-hole egomanic Van Jones…you will be forced to resign this weekend.. So long sucka!!! Another Obama radical under the bus. I LOVE IT

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