Richard L. Clemmons, Jr.

Chief Operating Officer at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Mr. Richard L. Clemmons, Jr., also known as Rich, is the chief operating officer at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank founded in 1970 that supports elected officials and policy experts who serve communities of color.

Before joining the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, he served as the Chief of Staff and Vice President at UNCF, where he played a critical role in the transformation of the 70-year-old civil rights organization. He reorganized the management process to allow leadership to better monitor organization-wide performance, and led a team that secured UNCF’s single largest gift in the last 10 years.

Mr. Clemmons has brought a wealth of leadership and managerial experience to his civilian roles, having spent over twenty years as an Officer in the United States Navy. In that capacity, he served as the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 31, where he trained, developed, and motivated 2,000 personnel on eight ships deployed to Southeast Asia. He also served as the Commanding Officer of the USS Roosevelt (a warship of 31 officers and 282 enlisted personnel), transformed his ship from a satisfactory (75%) to outstanding (95%+) rating by focusing crew on superior standards, and won the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership. He also worked for three years in the Department of the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs securing support for critical ship/submarine building program goals.

Mr. Clemmons is a Graduate of both Florida A & M University (BS in Business Administration) and Auburn University (MPA).