Benjamin Jealous

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

…the only organization that can really lead that effectively would be an organization that both is on fire to protect the planet and is on fire for social justice. Ultimately, the best solutions are going to require us to figure out how to hold both of those in our minds at the same time.

Ben Jealous


Benjamin Todd Jealous is a civil rights leader, tech investor and educator. He is also a former investigative journalist and Rhodes Scholar. Ben has dedicated his life to bringing people together, building diverse coalitions for change, and holding government leaders accountable to the needs of everyday people.

In 2018, Ben was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of Maryland. He won an overwhelming victory in the primary. In the general election, he became the first non-incumbent candidate for Governor to win more than one million votes.

The former president and CEO of the NAACP, Benjamin served as the youngest president in its history. During Jealous’ tenure, the NAACP became the largest door-to-door voter registration operation nationwide. After a half decade as a partner at Kapor Capital, Jealous was the president of People for the American Way ( – a 40 year old multi-racial coalition focused on advancing justice, equality, democracy and opportunity in the US. Currently, Benjamin serves as the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization with advocates and volunteers across the country.

Ben has also served as the president of the Rosenberg Foundation, founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Human Rights Program, Executive Director of National Newspaper Publishers Association, the largest trade association of African-American owned newspapers, an editor of Mississippi’s Jackson Advocate newspaper, and a NAACP community organizer in Mississippi. He started his career in Civil Rights, at age 18, working in the mailroom of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

After a half-decade at Kapor Capital, Ben cofounded Baltimore-based investment firm, 20X. There he focuses on social impact investing and advising. He is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford Universities, a former visiting professor Princeton University, and the proud father of two young children.

Benjamin Jealous is the co-author of the essay collection Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding (2015). His second book, Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing will be published in early 2023.

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