Jennifer Jones

Director, Center for Science & Democracy

Head shot of Dr. Jen Jones
Media Contact

Jennifer Jones is the director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, Dr. Jones provides leadership, guidance, and vision for the Center’s staff as they work together for strong, independent public science, a robust, transparent democracy, justice for overburdened communities, and the effective use of science in public-serving policymaking.

Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Jones was an associate professor of environmental studies and director of the Center for Environment and Society at Florida Gulf Coast University, where her research and teaching interests focused on political ecology, biodiversity conservation, global food sustainability, and environmental governance. She previously served on the faculty of Virginia Tech, Williams College, and the University of Tennessee. Additional experiences include appointments as president and CEO of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and as a Program Director for the International Honors Program, part of World Learning, where she managed study abroad programs on five continents. She currently serves on several Commissions for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Dr. Jones’ work at the intersection of science and democracy has sought to increase climate literacy with marginalized communities and build systems to increase diversity and equity in public science. Simultaneously, her work has spotlighted disinformation campaigns by the fossil fuel industry as well as government public spending and land use laws in the name of resilience that favor wealthy communities.

Dr. Jones earned her PhD and MS in environment and society from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a BS in natural resource recreation management from the University of Florida. She has been quoted on CBS News, NPR and WINK News, among other outlets, and has written op-eds for the News-Press.