David R. Jones
President and Chief Executive Officer
Joined CSS: 1986
David R. Jones, Esq. is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that promotes economic advancement and full civic participation for low-income New Yorkers. Mr. Jones, an outspoken advocate for low-income New Yorkers, writes bi-weekly newspaper columns in the New York Amsterdam News and El Diario/La Prensa that serve to educate the public and government officials on issues of importance to minority and poor communities.
Mr. Jones has led CSS since 1986. From 1983 to 1986, he served as Executive Director of the New York City Youth Bureau. Mr. Jones was Special Advisor to Mayor Koch from 1979 to 1983 with responsibilities in race relations, urban development, immigration reform, and education.
A highly respected New York City leader on issues of urban poverty and economic advancement, Mr. Jones has served on transition committees for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He also served as a member of the Moreland Commission. In June 2016, Mr. Jones was confirmed by the State Senate to fill a City seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) after being nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was appointed to a blue-ribbon commission advising the Mayor’s Office on structural changes to the NYC Health+Hospitals and is a member of the Advisory Council of the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Mr. Jones is Chairman of the Board of the Nation Institute and a board member of the Scherman Foundation and Center for Community Change.
From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Jones was Chairman of the Board of Carver Federal Savings Bank, the largest African-American managed bank in the nation. He served for 12 years on the board of trustees of Wesleyan University and is now a Trustee Emeritus. Mr. Jones also served on the board of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and was Vice Chairman of the Primary Care Development Corporation, which finances health care programs and facilities in medically underserved communities.
Mr. Jones is past chairman of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, which is committed to making organized philanthropy more responsive to socially, economically, and politically disenfranchised people. He is a founding member of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and for seven years was President of Black Agency Executives, a group of black leaders of major New York City human service agencies. For over 10 years he served as a member of the board of directors of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.
While receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, Mr. Jones interned for the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School in 1974, afterwards clerking for Judge Constance Baker Motley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Jones was a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Among his many awards is an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the City University of New York. Prior to his nonprofit and public service careers, he specialized in corporate antitrust cases and contract litigation at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community of Brooklyn on April 30, 1948, Mr. Jones is the son of the late Assemblyman and Judge Thomas R. Jones. He is married to Dr. Valerie King, a clinical psychologist. They have two children. Mr. Jones is a member of the New York State and Federal Bars.