Aranthan AJ Jones II

Senior Vice President
Global Communications and Public Affairs
Starbucks Coffee Company

Mr. Jones II has worked internationally in South Africa, Germany, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, France, Canada, and Nigeria. As a global professional, he has extensive regional business experience in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. He speaks Yoruba (a prominent Nigerian language) and is learning conversational Hebrew.

Currently, Mr. Jones II is Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs for Starbucks. In this newly created role, Mr. Jones II is responsible for leading the company’s global communications, international communications, partner communications, Starbucks Stories, and marketing integration and entertainment.

Prior to this role, Mr. Jones II was the Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer for Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company. As a Named Executive Officer, Mr. Jones II served as Vanda’s lead interface to the investment community, and his efforts helped to increase stock valuation and market capitalization,  and led to an increase of new investors, and since his appointment. In addition to being the company’s lead spokesperson, Mr. Jones II directed the following corporate functions: government affairs, corporate branding, ESG (environmental, social and governance), corporate philanthropy, and advocacy. Mr. Jones II’s management of these functions resulted in public sentiment, share-of-voice, and share-of-search increases, and helped the company transition it from a central nervous system-focused to a multi-therapeutic product organization. 

Before joining Vanda, Mr. Jones II held several C-Suite roles in private and public companies and managed upwards of ~$570 million in P&Ls, while provided an array of professional services to Fortune 500 companies (ie Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Google, Lockheed Martin, NBCUniversal, Yum Brands China, Gilead Sciences and Oracle), top-ranked academic institutions, multilateral institutions, and G-20 government leaders. Additionally, as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation senior executive, he directed millions in social impact grant investments, seeded the successful launch of social enterprises, and established the foundation’s celebrity entertainment and public policy divisions.

In the office of the Majority Whip James Clyburn, he served as the first African American Policy Director in the U.S. House of Representatives’ leadership, and crafted more than 214 pieces of legislation; of which 142 became law. In 2008, Mr. Jones II was appointed as a lead policy negotiator and external communicator for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which created the successful Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). 

Mr. Jones II has received over 68 national awards and citations acknowledging his leadership in communications, public policy and corporate affairs. He was named by Iowa State University’s (ISU) College of Liberal Arts & Sciences as one of the 150 most fascinating graduates and given ISU’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

He is a recurring guest lecturer for Harvard University’s School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and School of Public Health Executive and Continuing Professional Education, and speaks widely on economic/finance policy, healthcare quality, philanthropy, disaster preparedness policy, international relations, strategic advocacy, executive leadership, and diversity-inclusion.

Furthermore, Mr. Jones II has established a myriad of professional opportunities to advance diversity and inclusion within corporations. In 2019, he was asked to design and formalize the implementation of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s (LVMH) corporate Hennessy Fellows program. The program is a multi-million dollar, decade-long partnership between Hennessy and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) – the pre-eminent national organization dedicated to promoting educational excellence among students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The groundbreaking program is designed to equip the next generation of African American corporate leaders through financial assistance, access to training and professional development experiences, and real-world skill-set development.

Additionally, he has led diversification efforts in the health professions through his service as a past advisory board member to Morehouse School of Medicine’s Public Health Program, and as the creator of the Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Program, W. K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program, and H. Jack Geiger Congressional Fellows Program. These exemplary training programs were the first congressional programs explicitly geared towards disadvantaged students from graduate institutions. Selected fellows are given the opportunity to learn public health finance policy, healthcare quality policy, and the congressional legislative process. To date, these training programs have placed over 327 individuals in congressional offices.

Mr. Jones II is an executive member of Forbes Communications Council, a National Investor Relations Institute leadership member, and an Emerging Markets Institute Fellow at Cornell University.  He is a devoted jazz fan, art and horology enthusiast, and avid world traveler.