Governor John Percy de Jongh, Jr
Former Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
John Percy de Jongh, Jr. is the seventh elected Governor of the United States Virgin Islands.
Early life and education
John Percy de Jongh, Jr. was born on November 13, 1957 and was raised on St. Thomas where he attended St. Peter and Paul School. He graduated from Catholic Central High School in Detroit and received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Economics from Antioch College (Yellow Spring, Ohio) in 1981.
He returned to the Virgin Islands to join the Tri-Island Economic Development Council and was then hired by Chase Manhattan Bank. During his six years there, de Jongh became the first Country Consumer Manager responsible for all consumer banking products in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and St. Maarten. Under his leadership, Chase installed the first off-site ATMs, increased home mortgage lending, and changed the bank’s focus to consumer lending in the BVI.
In 1984, de Jongh was appointed to the Industrial Development Commission. In 1987, de Jongh was appointed as Commissioner of Finance by Governor Alexander Farrelly, his first political office and one that had once been held by his grandfather, Percy. He was key in financial reforming and boosting the economy of the territory in the early 1990s. He also worked as an executive assistant to the governor's office, and he helped to coordinate better interagency cooperation. In 1992, de Jongh left politics and was a powerful and successful businessman.
In 1993, de Jongh reentered the private sector as a Senior Managing Consultant for Public Financial Management, Inc. where he helped develop and implement Five-Year Plans for the cities of Philadelphia, New Haven, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., all of which dramatically improved their financial standing as a result of implementing these management initiatives. de Jongh served as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Lockhart Companies Incorporated, a real estate and insurance holding company with properties and businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Turks & Caicos. He also served three terms as President of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, a philanthropic organization focused on children and families.
De Jongh unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002 (receiving the second highest amount of votes out of eight candidates) as an independent candidate. He won the governorship in the 2006 general election after defeating Kenneth Mapp in a 21 November run-off election with over 57% of the vote. Mapp had edged out Adlah Donastorg for the second run-off spot in the November 7 election. De Jongh held the support of the business community, among others, and the expectations of the people for a competently-run public-private partnership in the years to come.
De Jongh took the oath of office on 1 January 2007 to become the 7th elected Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to this, he had never served in elective office.
De Jongh won the Democratic primary election on 11 September 2010. He received 7,487 votes, or 53% of the vote in the primary, more than all three of his Democratic challengers combined. Senator Adlah Donastorg Jr. came in second with 4,300 votes; former Lt. Governor Gerard Luz James received 1,823 votes; fourth placed candidate James O'Bryan Jr. garnered 432 votes.
On 2 November 2010, De Jongh and Lt. Governor Gregory Francis won re-election to second term, taking 17,535 votes, or 56.27%. de Jongh defeated the independent gubernatorial ticket of Kenneth Mapp and Malik Sekou, who came in second with 13,580 votes.
In 1986, de Jongh married Cecile René Galiber of St. Croix. They have three children, John III, René and Julian.