José Santos Woss
Legislative Manager, Criminal Justice and Election Integrity
José Woss is the Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. He leads FCNL’s work on criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform (election integrity), and police militarization. He co-Chairs the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, an alliance of approximately 50 national faith groups advocating to end mass incarceration.
Prior to joining FCNL, José was the Policy Fellow for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) bringing Quaker values to a busy policy portfolio consisting of criminal justice reform, human rights, and peacebuilding research. His passion for racial justice led him to help lead a coalition advocating for the human rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent facing statelessness. Before joining the Quaker community he lobbied on public health and appropriations for a large international law firm. A D.C. resident since 2011, José started his career in public policy working for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. There he built a robust understanding of public policy, legislative process, and effectively communicating policy/politics to constituents.
Before his time in the U.S. Senate, José was a social worker for HIV-positive clients in New York City. While attending Montclair State University and right after graduating he served as an AmeriCorps member in a community-based, immigrant-serving nonprofit helping recently-arrived African refugees in New Jersey. He also provided French interpretation and translation services for Survivors of Torture counseling and asylum legal proceedings. José’s national service and time as a social worker illustrated the ways society often leaves so many people behind. This changed his life, and he became firmly committed to improving the country that gave his family so much.
José is a proud son of immigrants who’s passionate about politics, public service, and social justice. In his free time he is studying for a Master of Public Administration at American University, tweeting too much, biking when the weather agrees, and reading everything he can! He is a member of All Souls Church, Unitarian where his social justice ministry (the Reeb Project) focuses on election integrity including supporting the work of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II in North Carolina.