Gina Ortiz Jones learned at an early age from her mother that it takes both hard work and opportunity to create a better future. Despite graduating from college, Gina’s mother left home and came to the United States as a domestic helper – because she believed the sacrifice would afford her family a better life and a shot at the American dream. Her mother’s guidance and leadership instilled in Gina the importance of humility, hard work, and willingness to step-up and take risks in order to create and seize opportunities.
Gina is running for Congress to bring her unmatched experience and core progressive values to work in Washington. As a veteran, a member of the LGBT community, and a first-generation American, Gina provides a unique perspective on policy and social change that enhances her ability to fight every day to ensure all Americans are given the equal opportunity of a better future. The new frontline is the House of Representatives and Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.
Gina graduated 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– including advising on operations in Latin America and Africa, to include 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. Gina 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 for potential national security risks. Gina was recognized as a 2016 American Council on Germany Young Leaders 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.
She has seen firsthand throughout her career the dangers that arise when elected officials hollow out governmental institutions, attack the free press, put personal profit above people, and deliberately weaken or undermine the voices of women and marginalized communities. As the current administration create those same threats here at home, she once again feels called to serve her community and country.