It is with appreciation, touched with sadness, that we share that our colleague Alex Johnson, chief of staff for programs, will be leaving Cal Wellness at the end of the year to join an LA-based strategic communications and public affairs firm with values firmly rooted in equity and inclusivity. In his new role as vice president of public affairs, Alex will work closely with nonprofit partners, progressive organizations, major companies, national law firms, and philanthropic institutions on various issues and causes.
Alex joined Cal Wellness in 2018 as a program director who managed grantmaking focused on environmental justice, reducing community violence, gun violence prevention, and youth justice. He also served as interim vice president of programs. During his tenure at Cal Wellness, Alex led the foundation’s efforts on our violence prevention strategy, directed and launched the violence prevention summit Healing Injustice, and helped us leverage our institutional voice in a powerful manner while concurrently developing an impactful grantmaking strategy.
Before joining Cal Wellness in June 2018, Alex was managing director for Californians for Safety and Justice in Los Angeles. While at CSJ, he led efforts calling for an end to over-incarceration and a renewed focus on safety priorities rooted in prevention and health. Prior to his role at CSJ, he was executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-California, He began his career in New York City advocating for domestic violence victims as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County and previously clerked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.
“From the day I started, Alex has been an invaluable senior leader and thought partner,” said Lori Cox, vice president of programs. “Alex’s impact can be felt deeply among our Cal Wellness family and across the philanthropic space in California. We are excited for his next opportunity and look forward to continuing to partner together.”
We are grateful to Alex for his service to Cal Wellness — along with his inspiration, counsel, partnership, and leadership – and we wish him the best in the next chapter.