Oakland Eco-Activist Joins Obama's Team

Bestselling author will advise president on green jobs

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009  |  Updated 12:48 PM PDT
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Oakland Eco-Activist Joins Obama's Team

Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Eco-activist Van Jones accepts an award at Global Green USA's 12th Annual Green Cross Millennium Awards on June 14, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.

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Oakland activist and author Van Jones has accepted a White House post as a "green jobs" adviser to President Obama, according to an announcement by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley.

Jones will serve as a special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation with the Council on Environmental Quality beginning Monday,  Sutley said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Sutley said, "Van Jones has been a strong voice for green jobs and  we look forward to having him work with the departments and agencies to  advance the president's agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources."

She said Jones also "will help to shape and advance the  administration's energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in  improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities."

Jones, 40, co-founded and was the longtime director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which is now based in Oakland. He remains on  its board.

Jones also is the founder of Green For All, another Oakland-based nonprofit. The group says its goal is to promote "an inclusive green economy, strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

In addition, Jones co-founded Oakland-based Color of Change, which says its mission is to "strengthen black America's political voice and to  "make government more responsive to the concerns of black Americans."

A graduate of Yale Law School, Jones wrote "The Green Collar Economy," which made The New York Times non-fiction best-seller list.

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