AJ Jones II

executive vice president, chief corporate affairs officer

Aranthan “AJ” Jones II is executive vice president, chief corporate affairs officer for Starbucks. In this role, AJ is responsible for leading Starbucks Global Government Affairs and Public Policy, Community and Social Impact, The Starbucks Foundation and Starbucks Alumni functions worldwide.

AJ serves as executive sponsor for Starbucks Armed Forces Network and is a governing member of Starbucks Brand Council. Previously, AJ served as executive vice president and chief communications officer, Public Affairs for Starbucks, where he led Starbucks global communications, international communications, partner communications, Starbucks Stories, entertainment and more.

Before joining Starbucks, AJ was the Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer for Vanda Pharmaceuticals, where he led the communications, investor relations, government affairs, corporate branding, ESG (environmental, social and governance), corporate philanthropy, and advocacy functions as a named executive officer. He also served as an executive member of the company’s corporate development and licensing review committee.

Previously, AJ held several executive roles at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, leading the organization’s internal and external communications, thought leadership and public policy initiatives and celebrity entertainment partnerships. Prior to his corporate and philanthropic roles, AJ was the policy director for Rep. James Clyburn, U.S. Congressional majority whip. While there, he was directly responsible for crafting more than 214 pieces of legislation, 142 of which became law, and was a lead policy negotiator and external communicator for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which created the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

AJ is a standing guest lecturer at Harvard University and a member of the Forbes Communications Council. He holds a holds a B.S. in sociology and anthropology from Iowa State University. He received his graduate training in global health policy with concentrations in economic development and finance from George Washington University. Additionally, he is completing an MBA at Cornell University as an Emerging Markets Fellow. His favorite Starbucks beverages are Iced White Tea, White Hot Chocolate and Caramel Apple Spice.