Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez was born in Tuba City, Arizona and raised in Shonto, Arizona. Vice President Nez is married to Phefelia Herbert-Nez and they have two children, Christopher and Alexander. He is the son of John H. Nez and Mabel H. Nez. His grandfather, H.T. Donald, was the former Navajo Nation Council Delegate for Shonto Chapter, and his grandmother was Mae Donald from Shonto.
Vice President Nez is born into the Áshįįhí Clan (Salt People) and born for the Ta’neeszahnii Clan (Tangle clan). His maternal grandfather’s clan is Tódích’íi’nii Clan (Bitter Water Clan) and his paternal grandfather’s clan is the Táchii’nii Clan (Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan).
Vice President Nez began his political career after being elected as Shonto Chapter Vice President. He was later elected to serve three terms as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate, representing the chapters of Shonto, Oljato, Tsah Bi Kin and Navajo Mountain. Vice President Nez was also elected as a Navajo County Board of Supervisor for District 1 and served two terms (he had to resign after he was elected Navajo Nation Vice President).
With more than 10 years of dedicated public service, Vice President Nez was asked to be a running mate to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. On April 21, 2015, the Navajo people elected President Begaye and Vice President Nez to be their leaders for the next four years. On May 12, they took the oath of office and began serving as the Navajo Nation President and Vice President.
Vice President Nez believes strongly in education. He is currently a doctoral student in political science and completed research on local empowerment and mobilizing local communities of the Navajo Nation to reinstate their inherent local way of governance. His research focuses on the reduction of dependence on the central tribal government, upholding and enhancing the local inherent sovereignty of the chapter areas. He is an alumni of Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from NAU.
Vice President Nez is an avid runner and advocate for healthy living. He enjoys training and competing in long-distance events, and has competed in multiple marathons. Vice President Nez participated in the 2015 Running for a Stronger and Healthier Navajo Nation, a 435-mile run circling the Navajo Nation. He ran more than 150 miles for the event. His current goal is to run a marathon in each of the 50 states.