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Meet the Executive Director

Barbara George Johnson

Barbara George Johnson

Barbara George Johnson currently holds the title of Executive Director of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University. Barbara brings more than 25 years of experience as a public policy professional in New Jersey and has been a leading voice in shaping health and social policy in the region. Barbara comes to the University with experience as managing principal of GOVCONNECTIONS, LLC and a Senior Associate for MBI-GluckShaw where she represented a diverse client base that ranged from the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals to municipal governments including the City of Trenton. Barbara was also the first Legislative Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. In that role, she spearheaded the passage of Domestic Partnership Legislation and worked with state leaders on policies to address racial profiling.

As Executive Director of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, Barbara manages the activities of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association. She also oversees the five policy centers housed at the Institute focused on early childhood education, urban environmental issues, public health, civic engagement and leadership development, and capacity building. Barbara lends her talents to a number of civic organizations and boards. She currently serves on the boards of Newark Workforce Development (Chairing the Public Policy Committee), the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey and Deborah Heart and Lung Medical Center.

Barbara is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Barbara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Technology from Cornell University, a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University’s School of Public Health and her Juris Doctor from Rutgers-Newark Law School.