Dr. David J. Johns

Board Member

Dr. David J. Johns is the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Johns was appointed the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans by President Barack Obama and served from 2013-2017. Dr. Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions under the leadership of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and has served under the leadership of the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Dr. Johns was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY).

Dr. Johns received his Ph.D. in sociology and education policy at Columbia University. Dr. Johns obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude. He graduated with honors from Columbia College, Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing, and African American studies.

Dr. Johns was named to the Out100 list in 2021, the Root100 in both 2013 and 2014, Ebony’s Power 100 in 2015, and received an early career award from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2016.