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DBT40 Honoree: JJ Francis

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Title: New Castle County Director

JJ Francis | DBT PHOTO BY LUIGI CIUFFETELLI

Workplace: The Office of U.S. Sen. Chris Coons

Age: 32

From social justice to economic development to appropriations, JJ Francis has been advising U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware on a wide variety of complex issues for nearly a decade.

Francis assumed his current role as New Castle County director for Coons in late 2022, after serving in multiple other roles for the Delaware politician since 2014. During that time, he’s helped with the passage of legislation commemorating and preserving the historic sites such as the Hockessin Colored School, Claymont Community Center and Howard High School in Delaware, and spearheaded the introduction of the PATHS Act to address mental health services in marginalized communities disproportionately affected by gun violence. 

In his position as county director, Francis works primarily to bridge the gap between federal government and the local community, advocate for those who need help and to bring a human element to the work being done in Washington, D.C.

Outside of the office, the Wilmington native has also served on the boards of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals, Public Allies of Delaware and the Delaware Nature Society. In 2018, he was honored by Wilmington officials with the Wilmington Award for Community Service for his volunteerism, advocacy and outreach to the city’s residents. He also serves as president of the Hedgeville Civic Association.

Francis earned a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University and received his bachelor’s in political science from La Salle University. In his spare time, Francis loves spending time with his close friends and family, playing cards and enjoying music, especially ‘90s R&B.

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