GeDá Jones Herbert

Director of Programming, Education Rights Institute

GeDá Jones Herbert is the inaugural director of programming for the Education Rights Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law. Jones Herbert previously worked four years as education special counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. At the Legal Defense Fund, Jones Herbert managed a large school desegregation litigation case while also supporting advocacy and education policy efforts. Before joining LDF, Jones Herbert was an attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, focusing on appellate litigation and community education, and drawing the connections from slavery to mass incarceration in America. She began her legal career in private practice but has since focused on civil rights, criminal defense and public policy. As the law program site manager for Santa Clara County, California, at Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Jones Herbert advocated for high school-aged youth who were incarcerated or at risk of becoming system-involved in the courtroom, in schools and with stakeholders throughout the community. 

Prior to law school, Jones Herbert served as an elementary school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, as a 2009 Nashville Charter Corps Member of Teach For America. During this time, Jones Herbert served in the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Policy, where she helped implement Tennessee’s Race to the Top grant award. 

Jones Herbert received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She also holds a master’s degree in school administration and leadership from Lipscomb University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Spelman College.