Who Is AOC's Boyfriend? Details About Riley Roberts

They are college sweethearts.

alexandria ocasio cortez speaking at podium lev radin / Shutterstock

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 31, made a splash in Washington after winning the 2018 midterm elections, becoming the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress at the age of 29. (Madison Cawthron, 25, has since taken the title of youngest member ever.) And in 2020, she was re-elected for a second term, defeating GOP candidate John Cummings.

One year earlier, AOC (as she's called) was one of four progressive women profiled in the Netflix documentary "Knock Down the House" — which features a brief glimpse at her boyfriend, web developer Riley Roberts.


From her popular social media accounts to her incisive questioning during Congressional hearings, the Congresswoman from the Bronx receives more than her fair share of media attention for her hard work as a public servant. So needless to say, many are deeply curious about her personal life as well.

And while her more ardent fans might know she has a boyfriend named Riley Roberts, she doesn’t make her relationship status a common topic of discussion.

Who is AOC's boyfriend, Riley Roberts?

Riley Roberts is a web developer who earned dual bachelor's degrees in sociology and finance at Boston University. He returned to his native home in Arizona after graduation and promptly began working as an internet and social media consultant.


In the description of his company, RileyUx, Roberts states, “In the last 6 years, I’ve helped over 60 startups like yours improve their landing pages, digital marketing, and their 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."

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How did Riley Roberts and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez meet?

Ocasio-Cortez and Riley Roberts were college sweethearts.


In a 2018 profile in Vogue, AOC shared that they met 'in true nerdy fashion' ... at a weekly Friday-afternoon conversation hosted by the dean at BU" known as Coffee and Conversation.

According to AOC's mom Blanca, the two broke up for an unspecified period of time before getting back together approximately six years ago.

In a 2019 interview, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez told The Daily Mail that she is a huge fan of the two as a couple.

"I love him ... He is the most loving, supporting person I've seen. He helped her tremendously during the election," mom Blanca said. "They've been together for four years now, after they reconnected from a college breakup. I know they love children, and they do very well with children from the family.


"So, I hope they get married soon. Although they haven't told me anything about their plans."

Where do Riley Roberts and AOC live?

Once they reunited, Roberts moved his consulting practice to New York City so he could be closer to AOC. In 2016, the couple moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx neighborhood of Parkchester, a section of the 14th District, which she represents.

There has been some controversy surrounding her residences in both New York and Washington, D.C., ncluding criticism of the high rent the couple is believed to pay for their D.C. condo.

AOC’s mother dismissed those concerns, saying the rent is not that expensive by both New York and D.C. standards, and that AOC's need for security and privacy are paramount.


"She told me she picked that building because the amenities allow her not to get out that much," her mother said. "There's a gym and yoga on the premises. When she is out and about, she gets stopped every minute."

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Needless to say, the couple is understandably protective of their privacy. Roberts hasn’t granted any interviews or made any significant appearances as a surrogate for AOC, and his family hasn't been a part of her political campaigns.

In January 2019, she took to Twitter to express her disgust with a reporter who contacted Roberts’ family members, offering them cash to share stories about her.

The private nature of their relationship holds true on social media, as well.


Roberts does not have any known social media accounts himself, but he did appear in one of AOC's Instagram posts back in 2018.

Roberts is the tall, bearded man on the right side of the image in the third slide.

Roberts Involvement in AOC's Congressional Campaign

Being the supportive partner he appears to be, Roberts helped out as a volunteer for AOC's campaign. He was periodically photographed near his girlfriend in campaign pictures but managed to keep such a low profile that he was occasionally simply identified as a campaign volunteer rather than as her partner, which is how she refers to him.


There has been some controversy surrounding payments made to Roberts as a "marketing consultant" by a political action committee backing her campaign, as well as a Congressional email address assigned to him.

Regarding the payments of approximately $6,000, AOC explained, "“He’s not on my payroll. They were not working for me and they are two separate entities here.”

And as for the house.gov email address that podcaster Luke Thompson tweeted about in February 2019, AOC has stated it exists so that Roberts has access to her busy calendar.

"Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal," AOC tweeted in reply to Thompson. "Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense."


While the couple doesn’t engage in any PDA or talk about their relationship in public, Roberts has maintained a steady presence in AOC's political life.

Not only did he attend her swearing-in ceremony, but his red beard can be seen featured in her official portrait, for which he posed smiling proudly alongside AOC and her family.


"A really incredible day, really special," he told the NY Post. "It's great."

The couple shares a French bulldog named Deco.

AOC not only shares her opinion and hard work on her Instagram, but her social media channels occasionally feature pictures of their dog, Deco.

In January 2020, AOC and Roberts welcomed their adopted French bulldog puppy into their home.


In an Instagram story, AOC shared the following about the origins of Deco's name: "A neighbor suggested we name him after an artist. We loved that idea, and decided to name him after Riley and I's favorite design styles: Art Deco — which is also inspired by themes and optimism and social and technological progress, and is a fixture in iconic NYC architecture," she wrote in an Instagram story.

She went on to satythat her immediate goal was to get him well trained enough to take him with her around Washington.


Are AOC and Riley Roberts planning to get married?

Just as they won’t comment on anything else about their relationship, AOC and Roberts have made no public statements about their future.

For the moment, the congresswoman seems plenty busy doing the work of the people’s house.

"I want to be Bernie Sanders but never run for president," AOC told Vogue. "I want to be the kooky old lady who brings her cats to the floor of Congress and says, ‘Here’s the right thing to do.’ I just want to be chilling with Sonia Sotomayor, wearing gold hoop earrings with a big old FU and a pretty necklace.”

Hopefully, Roberts will still be there happily supporting her from the sidelines.


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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in March 2019 and was updated with the latest information.