Alex M. Johnson is vice president of public affairs at The California Wellness Foundation. Johnson returned to Cal Wellness in January 2024 after serving as vice president at Bryson Gillette, a strategic communications and public affairs firm where he led efforts to support clients working to create change across multiple sectors, including education, government, philanthropy, and nonprofits. Before his time at Bryson Gillette, Johnson served as a senior leader at Cal Wellness for nearly five years in various grantmaking roles.
In his role as vice president of public affairs, Alex oversees the department’s government relations, community engagement and strategic communications. Before joining Cal Wellness in June 2018, Johnson was managing director for Californians for Safety and Justice in Los Angeles. While at CSJ, Johnson 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, where he led statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low-income families, reform the juvenile justice system, promote educational equity, end child poverty, and improve outcomes for children of color. Alex previously led education, youth development, and public safety efforts for a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. 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.
Alex serves on the boards of Southern California Grantmakers, Urban Peace Institute, California Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land, and the UCLA Luskin School Board of Advisors. He previously served on the Los Angeles County Board of Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and American University, Washington College of Law, Alex’s writings have appeared in Huffington Post, The Guardian, Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, California Health Report, and Sacramento Bee.