Beginning on March 1, former Executive Committee member of Florida’s Amendment 4 campaign/former Organizing Director for California’s Prop 47 campaign Robert Rooks will begin serving as the new Chief Executive Officer of the REFORM Alliance. Founding CEO Van Jones was elevated to the Executive Board.
Influential industrialists such as Hip Hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert F. Smith, and Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai are among the Founding Partners for the REFORM Alliance. Recording artist Robert “Meek Mill” Williams and Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin are the organization’s Co-Chairs.
“Robert [Rooks] is a game-changing hire for our organization,” said Meek Mill and Michael Rubin in a joint statement. “He has a proven track record of changing laws and is universally-respected by leaders on both sides of the political spectrum.”
They add, “We’re incredibly grateful for Van’s leadership in laying the groundwork for REFORM and spearheading our first round of legislative victories. We’re thrilled for Van to join the Executive Board where he will continue to help build the organization.”
Van Jones will officially shift to becoming a full-time Executive Board member after Rooks transitions into the CEO role. In addition, Jones will serve as the co-chair of REFORM’s 501c4 entity known as the REFORM Action Fund. He will also continue to work as a CNN contributor.
“With Robert Rooks as our CEO, the sky’s the limit for us at REFORM,” states Jones. “When we first launched two years ago, I set out to build a robust team, elevate REFORM from a start-up to a high-performance organization and generate major legislative wins.”
The Emmy Award winner added, “We’ve made incredible strides on all three fronts. But Rooks is going to put a rocket booster under everything we have done so far. He knows how to build, he knows how to lead and he knows how to win. I am very proud to join the REFORM board, where I will be supporting him and the whole REFORM team to take everything to the next level.”
EXCITING NEWS: After two years as the founding CEO for @REFORM, I am joining the Executive Board.
I am so proud of the team we've built & what we've accomplished so far.
Thank you @RobertRooks5 for coming on as the new CEO.
We got WORK to do 💪🏾 #FightDifferent
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) February 9, 2021
Last year, the Reform Alliance scored a major legislative win in California when the state passed the AB 1950 probation reform bill into law. In January of 2021, Van Jones and Michael Rubin celebrated REFORM’s role in Michigan passing new laws that will change the state’s probation and parole system.
The REFORM Alliance also worked with Memphis rapper Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims to push for bipartisan prison reform in Mississippi after Roc Nation’s Team Roc exposed the inhumane conditions inside Mississippi State Penitentiary (aka Parchman Farm). REFORM continues to strive to enact criminal justice improvements in other states across the country.