Alex M. Johnson is chief of staff to the vice president of programs at The California Wellness Foundation. He provides high-level strategic support and counsel on grantmaking priorities and special projects, overall departmental strategy, budget and operations, and external engagement. He was appointed to his current position in April 2022. Johnson previously served as interim vice president of programs. Prior to that, he was a program director who managed grantmaking focused on environmental justice, reducing community violence, gun violence prevention, and youth justice.
Before joining Cal Wellness in June 2018, Johnson 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, 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. Johnson 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.
Johnson serves on the boards of Southern California Grantmakers, California Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land, and the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development. He previously served on the Los Angeles County Board of Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and American University, Washington College of Law, his 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.
ajohnson [at] calwellness.org
Follow Alex on Twitter: @AMJ_CalWellness