Mondaire Jones is the 33-year-old Congressman-elect from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the working-class Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He saw firsthand the role that government must play in ensuring that all members of our society are able to live in dignity.
Mondaire’s understanding of what he saw around him would both deepen and mature through his involvement in the NAACP during high school and eventually as a 19-year-old committee chairman on the organization’s National Board of Directors. Mondaire arrived at Stanford planning to major in English and change the world through a career as a novelist, but gradually changed his mind. His continued participation in the NAACP, his leadership in the Associated Students of Stanford University (through which he served on the Undergraduate Senate and as Student Body Vice President, and led numerous successful initiatives), his summer internship at the Stanford Legal Clinic, and his studies all convinced him that he could be most impactful through political and legal advocacy.
A recipient of Stanford’s prestigious John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, Mondaire worked in the Obama Administration in the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2013. Mondaire clerked on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and spent years in private practice, where he was awarded by the Legal Aid Society of New York for his pro bono service. Mondaire is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc., which teaches professional skills to underserved middle-school students in three American cities, and has served on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Prior to running for Congress, Mondaire was a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. After his election to Congress in November 2020, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his classmates to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership in the 117th Congress, the most influential position available to a freshman member. He will make history as the nation’s first openly gay, Black member of Congress.