Commissioner Bio

Commissioner Bio

James Hendon

James Hendon serves as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, an agency charged with fostering purpose driven lives for US Military Service Members—past and present—in addition to their caregivers, survivors, and families.  Previously, James served as Director of NYU’s Veterans Future Lab, a small business incubator for practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs who are US Military Veterans, Department of Defense affiliates, and Veterans’ Spouses.

 A Veteran entrepreneur himself, James is also the CEO of the Energy Economic Development Corporation, an organization that provides green jobs workforce development training throughout the NYC region.  Prior to that, James served as the COO for BlocPower, a Department of Energy-sponsored firm that helps nonprofits, small businesses, and faith centers perform energy efficiency retrofits.  He previously worked as an Associate in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank.  

Before entering the civilian workforce, James spent seven years in the US Army as an Active Duty Infantry Officer where he deployed as a Mortar Platoon Leader and Battalion Public Affairs Officer to Iraq (2005), worked as an Admissions Officer for West Point (2006-2007), and served as the Senior Advisor to the Afghan Border Police in Afghanistan (2007-2009). 
James is a 2002 graduate of West Point, a 2012 graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia Business School, and a 2015 graduate of the Earth Institute’s Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability.  

James serves on the board for the Council of Urban Professionals’ Fellows Program; he himself was named a CUP Fellow in 2014. He is a Truman National Security Project Fellow (2016), an Environmental Leadership Program Fellow (2016), and a Presidential Leadership Scholars Fellow (2022).  Hendon serves on the Advisory Board for NYU’s Clean Start Program and is a member of One Hundred Black Men of New York.  

As a drilling US Army Reservist, James, a Lieutenant Colonel, currently serves as a Joint Exercise Planner for the Exercises and Coalition Affairs Directorate of US Southern Command.  His most recent assignment was serving as Battalion Commander for 1st Battalion, 411th Regiment, 4th Cavalry Brigade—a logistics support battalion.  Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Professor of Military Science for the CUNY Army ROTC Program and then as New York City Lead for the 75th Innovation Command.  

James and his wife Christine have two young children—Grace and David.    


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