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Stephanie Jones

Stephanie J. Jones (born in Youngstown, Ohio), a lawyer and educator, is President of Stephanie Jones Strategies, LLC, a Washington, DC public affairs, strategic planning and government relations firm. She was formerly the Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute and Editor-in-Chief of The State of Black America.

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


Early life

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. DuBois


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 Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute (formerly the Institute for Opportunity and Equality) in 2005. That year, she was also named Editor-in-Chief of Opportunity Journal and the annual State of Black America 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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