Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hecht spent his youth in Belmont, attending Belmont Public Schools. He received an A.B. in History from Stanford University in 1981, a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1990.
Hecht was a New York City attorney before working as a program officer for human rights and governance for the Ford Foundation in Beijing from 1990–1994. He was a research fellow and law lecturer in East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School from 1994–1998. He co-founded the China Law Center at Yale Law School in 1999 and was its deputy director until 2006.
A former board member of the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Hecht gained a seat on the Watertown Town Council in 2005, going on to chair the council's budget, economic development, and rules committees.
Elected as a Democrat to the 29th Middlesex District seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2008, Hecht is Vice Chair of the Elder Affairs Committee and a member of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. He is a member of the Mental Health Caucus, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Caucus, and Urban Parks Caucus.
In December 2011, Hecht was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace Steven Tolman in the Massachusetts Senate, but lost to state representative Will Brownsberger in the primary election.
Hecht and his wife Lora Sabin, a public health economist at Boston University School of Public Health, reside in Watertown and have four children who are students or alumni of the local public schools.
- "Member Profile - Jonathan Hecht". Massachusetts General Court. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Jonathan Hecht". Yale Law School. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Tucker, Franklin; Breitrose, Charlie (December 14, 2011). "Why Will Won: Staying Close to Home Pays Off for Brownsberger". Belmont Patch. Belmont, MA.
|Massachusetts House of Representatives|
| Massachusetts State Representative
29th Middlesex District
January 7, 2009–present