Jamaal Nelson is the chief of staff and culture at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nelson serves as the principal partner and chief counselor to the CEO, leading initiatives across the SPLC and within its various programs. He marshals the SPLC’s resources to advance the organization’s goals. His portfolio includes strategic planning, programmatic priority setting and executive-level leadership and management oversight. Before joining the SPLC, he led high-performing teams in various advocacy arenas including education, civil rights and political spaces.
With deep Southern roots, Nelson believes in the infinite promise and power of the South. For him, the true measure of the nation’s civil rights progress is inextricably linked to the degree civil rights thrives across the region. He has dedicated his life and career to the cause of expanding equity. As a longtime movement builder, political strategist and dynamic communicator, Nelson has rich experience mobilizing large groups of people to take meaningful action in advancement of their shared self-interest.
Nelson has a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University.