John de Jongh

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Not to be confused with John de Jong.
John de Jongh
Governor John de Jongh - United States Virgin Islands.jpg
28th Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
In office
January 1, 2007 – January 5, 2015
Lieutenant Gregory Francis
Preceded by Charles Turnbull
Succeeded by Kenneth Mapp
Personal details
Born John Percy de Jongh, Jr.
(1957-11-13) November 13, 1957 (age 58)
St Thomas, Virgin Islands, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cecile René Galiber
Alma mater Antioch College
Religion Roman Catholicism

John Percy de Jongh, Jr. (born November 13, 1957) was the 28th Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

De Jongh previously served as Commissioner of Finance after being appointed in 1987. He left public office in 1992 and became successful in business. He unsuccessfully ran for governor in the 2002 general election as an independent candidate, placing second with 24.4% of the vote. In the 2006 general election, never having served elective office, he defeated former Lieutenant Governor Kenneth Mapp in a runoff and became governor. In 2010, he won re-election to a second term.

As governor, he had the support of many in the business community, due to his background as a businessman and Commissioner of Finance.

Early life[edit]

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. was born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.[1] As a child he attended Sts. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas. After his parents' divorce, he lived with his mother in Detroit, Michigan while his mother did social work for the Detroit Public Schools. During the summer, de Jongh would return to St. Thomas to assist in his father's law firm. He earned an economics degree from Antioch College in Ohio.[2]

De Jongh is a product of Catholic schooling, attending such institutions both on the island and in the United States. During college, he was able to study abroad, and completed an urban study in Yugoslavia and The Netherlands. After graduating from college, de Jongh returned to his ancestral Virgin Islands. He worked for several years as a member of the Economic Development Council, during which he helped receive funding for the preservation of historic Virgin Island buildings, before taking a job with Chase Manhattan. de Jongh first worked as an executive in the company's San Juan, Puerto Rico office before once again returning to the Virgin Islands after earning the position of Consumer Manager of Operations in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Under his leadership, Chase placed more emphasis on personal over corporate banking in the Caribbean and increased home mortgage lending.

In 1986, he married Cecile Rene Galiber of St. Croix. They have three children.


In 1987, de Jongh was appointed as Commissioner of Finance by Governor Alexander Farrelly, his first political office and one that had once been held by his grandfather, Percy. He was key in financial reforming and boosting the economy of the territory in the early 1990s. He also worked as an executive assistant to the governor's office, and he helped to coordinate better interagency cooperation. In 1992, de Jongh left politics and was a powerful and successful businessman. He worked as a consultant for Public Financial Management and was one of the creators of the oversight committee to help Washington, D.C. becoming financially sound. de Jongh has also been an executive at Lockhart and Chilmark Partners, two large Caribbean real estate firms.

De Jongh unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002 (receiving the second highest amount of votes out of eight candidates) as an independent candidate. He won the governorship in the 2006 general election after defeating former Lieutenant Governor Kenneth Mapp in a November 21 run-off election with over 57% of the vote. Mapp had edged out Adlah Donastorg for the second run-off spot in the November 7 election. De Jongh held the support of the business community, among others, and the expectations of the people for a competently-run public-private partnership in the years to come.

De Jongh took the oath of office on January 1, 2007 to become the 7th elected Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to this, he had never served in elective office.

Governor John de Jongh and Lt. Governor Gregory Francis announced that they will seek a second term in office in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

De Jongh won the Democratic primary election on September 11, 2010.[3] He received 7,487 votes, or 53% of the vote in the primary, more than all three of his Democratic challengers combined.[3] Senator Adlah Donastorg Jr. came in second with 4,300 votes; former Lt. Governor Gerard Luz James received 1,823 votes; fourth placed candidate James O'Bryan Jr. garnered 432 votes.[3][4]

John de Jongh faced independent candidate Kenneth Mapp, a former Lt. Governor, in the general election on November 2, 2010.[3] The contest between De Jongh and Mapp was essentially a rematch of the top two contenders from the 2006 gubernatorial election.[3]

On November 2, 2010, De Jongh and Lt. Governor Gregory Francis won re-election to second term, taking 17,535 votes, or 56.27%.[5] de Jongh defeated the independent gubernatorial ticket of Kenneth Mapp and Malik Sekou, who came in second with 13,580 votes.[5]


On August 18, 2015, DeJongh was arrested along with Julito Frances, former director of the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority, and charged with embezzlement of public monies and neglecting to pay over public monies in violation of the Virgin Islands Criminal Code relating to the alleged conversion of Virgin Islands government highway funds to fund improvements to the former governor's private residence in the amount of $490,000.25. [6] [7]

DeJongh had provided a $202,831.60 check to the government when his term ended, which he said represented the fair market value of the security measures that remained at his home, reduced by the cost of removing a guard house from the property. The new government returned the check, though, opting to seek an arrest warrant instead. On January 28, 2016, V.I. Superior Court Senior Sitting Judge Darryl Donohue dismissed the charges against former Gov. deJongh, bringing the high-profile case officially to a close. [8]



External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Turnbull
Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Succeeded by
Kenneth Mapp