Riley Roberts is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend. The two have been together since college. Although they keep an extremely low profile, Roberts has continued to be involved with Ocasio-Cortez’s life, though she has moved to D.C. as she prepares for congressional life.
On Friday, February 15, Roberts’ relationship with the freshman Congress member was thrust into the limelight over speculation regarding his new congressional email account. In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said that it was strictly so that he could have access to her calendar, writing, “Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense.”
A profile of Ocasio-Cortez in an October 2018 article by Vogue first confirmed Roberts’ and Ocasio-Cortez’s relationship. To The New York Times in November, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned her relationship again, citing him as her “partner” and saying, “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away [money] and then hoping that gets me to January.”
Here’s what you need to know about Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez:
1. Roberts Is a Web Developer, According to LinkedIn
Via LinkedIn, Roberts is a UX Growth Consultant who “helps SaaS and subscription startups sustainably grow their monthlyrecurring revenue with.” Vogue further confirmed that Roberts describes his work as “web development.”
His bio reads in part, “In the last 6 years, I’ve helped over 60 startups like yours improve their landing pages, digital marketing, and user experience design. Since 2013, I’ve focused my consulting efforts on subscription startups, because it’s where I’ve found I can deliver the highest value results for my clients.”
Prior to his solo consulting work, Roberts worked as Head of Marketing at HomeBinder in New York City. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of arts in Sociology, then attended Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, graduating in 2012.
2. Roberts & Ocasio-Cortez Met While They Were Students at Boston University
According to Vogue, Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez met while they were students at Boston University. Ocasio-Cortez explained that they met “in true nerdy fashion” at a Friday conversation which was hosted by the Dean of students at BU.
Roberts, who is from Arizona, moved to New York to be with Ocasio-Cortez, and they lived in a one0bedroo apartment in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx until they moved to D.C. for her congressional position.
Irina Alexander of Vogue wrote of Roberts, “When I first met him backstage at The Daily Show, he was casually citing tax rates in the 1950s.”
According to TEDxBU, Roberts gave a TED Talk on April 24, 2010. Though his actual talk is not available, the theme of the evening was “To Epiphany & Beyond,” and Roberts’ bio read, “Riley is a sophomore duel-degree student studying Sociology and Finance. He is passionate about all aspects of business and people. His life necessitates that he spend a significant amount of time on a computer, but, despite the way he lives, he loves to break the connection and engage others.”
3. Roberts Is a Different Person Than the Riley Roberts Who Is a Well-Known Speechwriter in D.C.
The Roberts who is dating Ocasio-Cortez is not the same Riley Roberts as the well-known speechwriter who lives in D.C.
That Roberts, who has a similar hair color and beard style, is a veteran of the Obama administration and a speechwriter to hundreds of politicians and influential individuals. He does not in any way have a public connection to Ocasio-Cortez.
4. Roberts Was Mistaken as a Campaign Volunteer in Several Early Articles on Ocasio-Cortez
Roberts has often been mistaken as being nothing more than a campaign volunteer to Ocasio-Cortez, since he was photographed often with her on the campaign trail. The DailyMail in particular used an AP photo in which Ocasio-Cortez is seen hugging Roberts, and he is described as a campaign volunteer rather than her boyfriend.
Then, on January 9, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that senior DailyMail reporter Ruth Styles had been visiting the homes of Roberts’ relatives and offering cash for “stories.” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Women in leadership face more scrutiny. Period.”
Though Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez are almost never photographed together, he was present and standing alongside Ocasio-Cortez as she was sworn into Congress, along with a number of her family members. You can see a photo of them at the event above.
5. Ocasio-Cortez Is Extremely Private About Her Relationship, & Never Posts About Roberts on Social Media
Ocasio-Cortez is extremely private about her relationship, and only ever references Roberts as her “partner.” However, in some photos Roberts can be seen in the background, such as the second and third photo on this Instagram carousel.