Alex M. Johnson

Executive Director

Alex Johnson is the Executive Director for the Children’s Defense Fund-California, the state office for the Children’s Defense Fund; a national organization founded in 1973 by Marian Wright Edelman. As Executive Director, Alex leads the organizations statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low income families, reforming the juvenile justice system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty.

Prior to assuming this position, Alex served as Assistant Senior Deputy for Education and Public Safety to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Prior to returning to Los Angeles County where he was born and raised, Alex worked with school instructional leaders in the New York City Department of Education where he provided counsel to school leaders and departmental executives as well as managed complex civil litigation, policy matters and special disciplinary proceedings as part of a teacher quality initiative. He taught high school students as a Fellow with the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and has served as an adjunct lecturer at Lehman College.

Alex began his public service experience in the offices of U.S. Representatives Julian Dixon and Juanita Millender-McDonald. He served as an aide to Georgia State Representative Douglas C. Dean and as a project manager for the 2000 Democratic National Convention Committee in Los Angeles. Alex worked for the late noted attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx, New York where he advocated for victims of domestic violence.

Alex is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow in law school, he advocated on behalf of indigent defendants at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.

He is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, the Board of Directors for the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network (AIYN), and serves on the Board of the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development.

Alex is the author of Beyond Higher Education: The Need for African-Americans to be "Knowledge Producers."