Jason Kander joined the Army after September 11, 2001, served in Afghanistan as a military intelligence officer, and rose to the rank of Captain. Today, he serves as President of Veterans Community Project and is leading the organization’s national expansion.
A former Missouri state legislator and Missouri Secretary of State, he was the first millennial in the nation elected to a statewide office. After over-performing the Democratic presidential ticket by 16 points but narrowly failing to unseat an incumbent Republican Senator in 2016, Jason founded Let America Vote, a national campaign against voter suppression. He served as a teaching fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, worked as a CNN Commentator, and appeared on every major television network.
President Barack Obama, in his final oval office interview, was asked who he viewed as the future of the Democratic Party, and the first person he mentioned was Jason Kander.
Jason’s podcast, Majority 54, debuted at #1 on iTunes in 2017, and his memoir, Outside the Wire, became a New York Times bestseller in 2018. That same year, Jason publicly said that he was considering a 2020 presidential campaign while traveling to 46 states for political events.
Jason surprised many by choosing instead to run for mayor of Kansas City. Three months into that campaign – which seemed destined for victory – Jason shocked the political world by ending his candidacy and stepping back from public life to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress he’d been struggling with since coming home from Afghanistan.
He spent eight months out of the public eye while addressing his mental health.
In 2019, he reemerged with a new role in public service, leading the national expansion of Veterans Community Project (VCP), a Kansas City-based organization founded by combat veterans. VCP’s mission is to fill the gaps in services for all veterans and provide transitional housing to end veteran homelessness. Jason has promised to expand VCP to eight additional cities by 2022 and then to every major city in America.
Jason is a graduate of American University and Georgetown Law School. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Diana, and they live in Kansas City with their son True and their daughter Bella. In his spare time, Jason enjoys training for irrational physical challenges and coaching his son’s baseball team.