President and Chief Executive Officer, NAACP
Ben Jeaous is the President and CEO of the NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.
In 2008, at age 35, he became the youngest person to serve as its chief executive.
Jealous has dedicated his life to fighting for freedom and justice. He is an organizer and journalist whose work has been credited with helping to: save a Black small farmer who was being framed for arson; expose our nation’s widespread sentencing of children to life without the possibility of parole; stop the state of Mississippi from turning a public historically Black university into a prison; and abolish the juvenile death penalty in the US.
He formerly served as President of the Rosenberg Foundation, Director of Amnesty International’s US Human Rights Program, Executive Director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and Managing Editor of the Jackson Advocate, a crusading Blackowned Mississippi newspaper that was last fire-bombed in 1998.
A fifth-generation member of the NAACP, Jealous’ family has been deeply involved in the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice in America. His mother, who was one of a handful of Black girls to desegregate Baltimore’s Western High School in 1954, descends from men who were born slaves and died having served as Reconstruction statesmen in Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate. His father, who was jailed for his participation in lunch counter sit-ins, descends from a soldier who was promoted from corporal to lieutenant during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
A Rhodes Scholar, he is a graduate of Columbia College, Oxford University, and the public and parochial schools of Monterey County, California.