James Cole Jr. is a financier, attorney, and advocate who is the founder of The Jasco Group, a multidimensional investment management firm. He joined the American International Group’s Board of Directors and has served as the Obama administration’s Deputy Secretary and General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Education. Cole comes from humble beginnings on the south side of Chicago and his career has been centered on advancing civil rights through education initiatives and entertainment for social impact. He is committed to educate, empower, and promote Black and Brown people as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Cole, a member of the Board of Native Son, received the Native Son Award for being a maverick in the community and for soaring to professional heights.—K.M.