Gina Ortiz Jones
Texas, 23rd District
Gina Ortiz Jones learned at an early age that it takes both hard work and opportunity, and often sacrifice, to create a better future. Gina’s mother worked multiple jobs and long hours while raising Gina and her sister on her own. Gina knows first-hand what it is like to live in subsidized housing, as well as what it is like to rely on reduced lunch as a child. Gina watched as her mother faced a diagnosis of colon cancer and understands the value healthcare coverage played in her survival. Even so, education was always a priority in their home, Gina learned that education and service offered a pathway to opportunities. Supported by her family and educators who both challenged and believed in her, Gina graduated in the top ten of her class from San Antonio’s John Jay High School, earning a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend Boston University. After graduating from Boston University with a BA and MA in Economics, and a BA in East Asian Studies, Gina entered the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In the 12-years following her active duty service, Gina has continued to build her career in national security, intelligence, and defense – including advising on operations in Latin America and Africa, to include advising on military operations that supported South Sudan’s independence referendum and serving in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell. During her last 16 months as a civil servant, Gina worked at the intersection of economic and national security issues. Detailed from the Intelligence Community, she served as the Senior Advisor for Trade Enforcement, a position President Obama created by Executive Order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a Director for Investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. For her years of service and extensive experience, Gina was recognized as a 2016 American Council on Germany Young Leader and is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council and earned a graduate degree from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.