Honorary Degrees

Benjamin Jealous

For over two decades, Mr. Jealous has been an influential and passionate leader. His current work aligns with both the California State University mission and the CSU Monterey Bay vision statement.

 Mr. Jealous served as President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for five years and is the youngest person to take on this role. During his presidency, the NAACP registered 374,553 voters and mobilized nearly 1.2 million new and unlikely voters to cast ballots in the 2012 election. Also during his time as President and CEO, the donor base grew from 16,422 to 132,543 and revenue grew from $25.7 million to $46 million.

Mr. Jealous graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science and also earned a Master’s in Comparative Social Research from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to his work with the NAACP Jealous was president of the Rosenberg Foundation, a foundation whose mission is to enable every person in California to “have fair and equitable opportunities to participate fully in the state’s economic, social and political life.”

Mr. Jealous currently is a Partner at Kapor Capital and Kapor Center for Social Action, which pursues creative strategies that will leverage information technology for positive social impact. The center focuses on closing gaps in American life including those in academic achievement, access to health care and economic opportunity, and in income, information access and social mobility.

Over the years, many organizations have recognized Mr. Jealous for his exemplary work and dedication. He has been named to both Time and Fortune magazines’ “40 under 40” lists, ranked number one on the Root Top 100 List in 2013, and was awarded the 2012 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship.

In recognition of his many accomplishments and work to forward equity at both the local and national levels, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Monterey Bay, are proud to confer upon Benjamin Jealous the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.