Chris Hand, Esq. bio

Chris Hand is a Jacksonville native with a long record of public, civic, and legal service in Florida. From 2011 to 2015, Hand served as Chief of Staff at the City of Jacksonville, Florida — the largest city by area in the contiguous United States and the 12th largest by population in the nation. As Chief of Staff, he led the advancement of strategic initiatives, coordinated the Mayor’s Cabinet of direct reports, and managed the Mayor’s Office team, with oversight for policy, advocacy, communications, outreach and scheduling. In his role, Hand also led the City’s efforts to achieve comprehensive retirement reform and participated in economic development initiatives. He currently leads Hand Law, which helps businesses, other organizations, and individuals address opportunities and challenges with government through strategic counsel and litigation advocacy. In 2018, Hand returned to City Hall for the Task Force on Civil Rights History. Task force members were honored with the Melody Starr Anne Bishop Community Service Award, in recognition of “outstanding community involvement, public service and commitment to enhancing and improving the quality of life for others.” His service occurred a decade after he served on the Jacksonville Journey anti-crime initiative in 2008. Hand recently authored the 50th Anniversary update to the chronicle of Jacksonville’s historic city-county government consolidation: A Quiet Revolution – the Consolidation of Jacksonville-Duval County and the Dynamics of Urban Political Reform.

Hand has also been engaged with federal and state government. From 1996 to 2000, he served as speechwriter, campaign press secretary, and Senate press secretary for then-U.S. Senator and former Governor Bob Graham. With Senator Graham, Hand is co-author of America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall – and Win, a guide to helping Americans flex their citizenship muscles to make government respond. He gave a 2017 TEDx Jacksonville talk on the same subject (

In 2008, Hand served as one of 27 Florida electors in the United States Electoral College. From 2017-2018, he was a senior advisor and lead policy advisor to Florida gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham. Hand was a member of the 2018-2019 transition team for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried. He also helped to lead the Groveland Four Clemency Coalition, a bipartisan team which worked to persuade the Florida Cabinet to pardon four Floridians unjustly accused of crimes in 1949.

Hand graduated with honors from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was honored with the Daily Princetonian Award for his successful efforts to reform the university’s then centuryold Honor Code. Hand later graduated with honors from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. The law school student body elected him as president of the student bar association. Chris also served as a research assistant to former Florida Gov. and U.S. Rep. Buddy MacKay and was on the moot court team. Hand is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2014 and Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI (36). An enthusiastic hiker who loves the Florida outdoors, and a dedicated fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida Gators, Hand lives in Jacksonville with his wife and two children.

501 Riverside Avenue, Suite 1709, Jacksonville, FL 32202
904.274.4979, x.7019 office, (904) 494-8757 fax