Julie Johnson


Dr. Julie Johnson is the founder and principal of StrategyForward Advisors, a postsecondary policy and strategy consultancy that works at the intersections of education and industry, technology, and justice. Julie is a higher education leader with 20 years of institutional, policy, and entrepreneurial expertise. She oversaw state higher education policy and advocacy for 42 states as Vice President of Strategy for Complete College America. She helped launch and lead a new community college as Deputy CEO of the University of the District of Columbia Community College. While at the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance in the U.S. Department of Education, she conducted policy research on college access, success, and affordability for Congress and the Secretary of Education. She helped develop and launch a new education-to-business venture to close industry skill gaps at Strayer Education and co-founded Faculty Guild, an ed-tech startup, to help college faculty improve their teaching. 

Julie is a long-time board member and former board chair for Maya Angelou Schools, serving opportunity and justice-impacted youth and young adults. She is co-founder of Neighbors for Justice, a local organization that strives to be better neighbors to those at the DC Jail and beyond through awareness, advocacy, and support. Julie has also served as a professorial lecturer in education at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, a community college adjunct instructor at UDC Community College, and a guest speaker at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, and George Mason University. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Policy from The George Washington University, Ed.M. in Higher Education from Harvard University, and B.A. in English from Azusa Pacific University. 

Why Are You In this Work?

I am committed to transforming postsecondary education to help all learners achieve their goals. I believe education can help solve the challenges of our nation and communities through policy, innovation, and collaboration.

Why ESG?

ESG is focused on addressing critical postsecondary needs at the national, state, system, and institutional levels and providing the solutions and support to drive the work forward.