Stephanie Jones

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This article is about the American businesswoman. For the German football (soccer) player with the same birth name, see Steffi Jones.
Stephanie Jones
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Stephanie J. Jones (born in Youngstown, Ohio) is deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She was sworn in by Secretary Anthony Foxx in January 2014.

Jones was previously President of Stephanie Jones Strategies, LLC[1], a Washington, DC public affairs and strategic planning firm.

Prior to starting her business, Jones was the Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute and Editor-in-Chief of The State of Black America.[2]

Jones is the creator and author of Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows. [3]

Early life[edit]

Stephanie Jones grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and later moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey where she attended junior and senior high school. She is the daughter of Nathaniel R. Jones, retired Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and former General Counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She is the granddaughter of author Lorenz Graham and great-niece of Shirley Graham and W.E.B. Du Bois


Jones received her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Afro-American Studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She earned her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was a Fellow in the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and was on the editorial staff of the Human Rights Quarterly. She also attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University).


Jones was appointed to the U.S Department of Transportation in January 2014. From 2010 until her appointment, she was President of Stephanie Jones Strategies, where she worked with an array of non-profit and corporate clients, including Participant Media, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation and Church Women United.

From 2005 through 2010, Jones was Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute, the NUL's policy, advocacy and research arm. During that time, she was also Editor-in-Chief of Opportunity Journal and the annual State of Black America[4]. Jones focused and expanded The State of Black America into a nationally-distributed trade publication and attracted notable contributors, including then-Senator Barack Obama, who wrote the Foreword to the 2007 edition.

Prior to joining the National Urban League staff, Jones was Chief Senate Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator John Edwards from 2002 to 2005 and Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones from 2000 to 2002. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as Secretary Richard Riley's Regional Representative in the U.S. Department of Education (Region V), a position she held for six years.[1]

Before entering government service, Jones was an Associate Professor of Law at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she taught Civil Rights Law, Civil and Criminal Procedure, Entertainment Law, and Trial Advocacy. Jones has also served on the adjunct faculty of Northwestern University School of Law. She previously practiced law with the firm Graydon, Head & Ritchey in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to her legal career, Jones was a staff reporter at the Cincinnati Post. During the early 1980s, she was Executive Assistant to Lionel Richie and The Commodores.


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