Will Heaton

Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy

Washington, D.C.

As JustLeadershipsUSA’s Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Will ensures that directly impacted people, their perspectives and their expertise are valued and respected by government leaders and policy makers. Will uses more than 17 years of government, philanthropic and nonprofit experience and his own direct experience in the criminal justice system to advocate for bold change led by directly impacted people that will end mass criminalization and create a society in which all people have equal opportunities to live a fulfilling life.

Will leads the Washington DC office, guides JLUSA’s federal advocacy and helps set policy direction for state and local JLUSA campaigns. Prior to joining JLUSA, Will served as the Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a national nonprofit dedicated to providing immediate and effective employment services to people recently released from incarceration. In this capacity he led CEO’s policy and advocacy efforts to increase workforce opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and end the discrimination and dehumanization of individuals affected by the justice system. Previously, Will served as the Vice President of Member Relations and Chief of Staff at the Council on Foundations, one of the largest associations of philanthropic organizations in the United States. In these roles he provided guidance to philanthropic leaders on issues including community engagement, impact investing, global philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and public policy. Will began his career in the US House of Representatives as a legislative aide in the Office of the Speaker and then serving as Chief of Staff for an Ohio Congressman handling issues such as housing policy, workforce development, and legislative strategy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government from The College of William and Mary.