Having graduated from Harvard Law near the top of his class, Jefferson landed a job at a prestigious Manhattan law firm. After a few months, he found himself having to choose between his values as a human being and his ambitions as a lawyer. When assigned to legally defend a client whom he found morally indefensible, Jefferson made the decision to quit the law firm and returned to his home state of Oregon.
With a focus on social entrepreneurship, Jefferson co-founded The Oregon Bus Project, a non-profit that encouraged democratic participation, particularly among young people. The Bus Project’s success exceeded his expectations and in addition to registering tens of thousands of people to vote in his own state, The Bus Project created a model that spread across the country, spawning the Bus Federation and a network of organizations that transformed voting laws in multiple states.
In 2010, Jefferson served in the Oregon House of Representatives for two terms and among his many accomplishments, his proudest is passing a bipartisan online voter registration bill and creating the most successful “Rick Roll” video in the tradition.
Jefferson has started multiple organizations and most recently co-founded the for-profit company, Tryl.ai, a clinical research software startup on a mission to increase the performance of clinical trials by improving the human experience. The company was recently purchased in a multi-million-dollar acquisition that yielded notable returns for its early investors.
Along with his wife Katy and his dog George (named after the main character in, It’s a Wonderful Life), Jefferson lives in Portland, Oregon where he continues work with non-profits and startups to build effective strategies for success.
He is also widely regarded as a dynamic PUBLIC SPEAKER and his credits include being an opening speaker for President Obama, two TED talks, and a University of Oregon Commencement speech entitled, You Might be Screwed that was named as one of NPR’s “Best Commencement Speeches, Ever.”