David J. Johns is executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ people and ending racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma.
From 2013 to 2017, Johns served as the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, appointed by President Barack H. Obama. The Initiative worked across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education and workforce development programs for African American students of all ages.
Prior to his White House appointment, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). He also served under the leadership of the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY). Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth, early childhood education, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is actively committed to improving literacy among adolescent minority males.
A prominent influencer thought leader, and media commentator, Johns frequently appears in print, online, and broadcast outlets, including TheRoot.com, NBC, EBONY, The Washington Post, BET, CNN, and TV One.