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Jay-Z and Meek Mill’s Reform Alliance Names Bob Pilon President

The Reform Alliance announced today that it has tapped entertainment and social justice executive Bob Pilon to serve as the organization’s President and Chief Growth Officer.

Pilon previously served as the Chief Development & Partnerships Officer at ONE, the international advocacy and campaigning organization co-founded by U2 singer and activist Bono. In that role, he spearheaded the global mobilization strategy behind the company’s initiatives to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases. Prior to joining ONE, Pilon held senior leadership positions at philanthropic organizations including Malaria No More, the Herbie Hancock Institute (formerly the Thelonious Monk Institute) and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The Alliance was founded earlier this year with a mission to advance criminal justice reform and eradicate laws and policies that perpetuate injustice in the United States by passing probation reform bills at the state level, using media to amplify the need for comprehensive reform and build an inclusive, bipartisan alliance of leaders who share a vision for transforming the criminal justice system. CNN host/ author Van Jones is the CEO; founding partners include Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Arnold Ventures co-founder Laura Arnold, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Third Point founder Daniel S. Loeb, Galaxy Digital founder Michael Novogratz, Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin, Vista Equity Partners founder Robert F. Smith and Brooklyn Nets co-owner and philanthropic investor Clara Wu Tsai.

“I’m thrilled to team up with the world’s leading sports, business, and entertainment moguls to create longstanding change in our criminal justice system,” Pilon said. “I’ve learned that what we really have in America is an ‘injustice system’ that far too many people are trapped in for reasons that just don’t make sense. I’ve admired Reform’s commitment to disrupting the criminal justice system, and I’m eager to help amplify awareness and change hearts and minds around our country’s need for comprehensive reform.”

“Bob Pilon is a living legend, having been a leader for some of the largest and most impactful social justice campaigns on the planet,” said Van Jones. “The fact that a global powerhouse like Pilon is joining the U.S fight for criminal justice reform is a massive gamechanger, all by itself. This is not just a big win for Reform, but for the entire movement for justice.”

In addition to Pilon, Reform has bolstered its leadership team by making several key hires and appointments, including:

  • Jessica Jackson, Chief Advocacy Officer: Jackson previously served as national director of the Dream Corps’ #cut50, a bipartisan justice reform initiative. At REFORM, Jackson is spearheading strategic policy measures aimed at amending outdated probation and parole laws across the United States.
  • Monique Houghton-Worrell, Chief Legal Officer: Defense attorney, law professor, and former assistant state attorney, Houghton-Worrell is responsible for identifying egregious patterns and practices in America’s parole and probation systems, nationwide.
  • Karen Caldwell, Chief Financial Officer:Caldwell has served as CFO for organizations such as NHP Foundation and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). With Reform, she is responsible for Reform’s financial planning and stewardship.
  • Nick Pressley, National Organizer: Pressley previously served as a leading field organizer for Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates. He is leading Reform’s advocacy campaigns, in Pennsylvania and nationwide.
  • Alex Spiro, Special Counsel to REFORM: A brilliant and well-known defense attorney, Spiro is a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. He is assisting Reform with both legal and policy strategy.
  • Erin Haney, National Policy Director: Haney previously worked as an investigator, a deputy public defender, a human rights attorney, and an attorney for people on death row, prior to overseeing national bi-partisan criminal justice reform campaigns. She is responsible for leading REFORM’s legislative agenda.

Reform is working with a bipartisan coalition of legislators and advocacy groups in Pennsylvania to help pass HB1555 and SB14 – bills that would transform the state’s probation system.

“We are building a high-performance team of dedicated, creative professionals,” Jones said. “The goal is to build an organization that can add something important and special to the growing movement to transform the justice system.”

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