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Gov. Ron DeSantis taps Tampa investment firm leader for university oversight board

Ken Jones also helmed the host committee for the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Ken Jones, named this week to the Florida Board of Governors, speaks at a 2013 news conference about the economic impact of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Ken Jones, named this week to the Florida Board of Governors, speaks at a 2013 news conference about the economic impact of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. [ Times (2013) ]
Published Nov. 27, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week appointed Ken Jones, the head of a Tampa investment firm, to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system.

Jones runs Third Lake Partners and is set to join the Board of Governors upon confirmation from the Florida Senate. He is a former practicing lawyer and served as the CEO of the host committee that brought the 2012 Republican National Convention to Tampa. He was recently named to the executive committee of the 2021 Super Bowl Host Committee.

The Board of Governors directs policy for Florida’s many public universities, including the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida. This year, members have discussed the potential for a tuition hike and weighed in on guidelines for campus reopenings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jones, 48, said he is a lifelong Floridian who attended Florida State University as an undergraduate and later earned a law degree at the University of Florida.

“It’s an incredible honor to be asked to serve on the Board of Governors,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m hopeful that I can contribute the experiences that I’ve had in my life both as a student in the education system as well as an executive who runs a business and bring those perspectives to the board to influence good education policy in the state of Florida.”