Claude Johnson is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Chief Development Officer. He has over 40 years of experience in the non-profit sector, spanning a career that has included arts management, consultancy, and major gifts fundraising in the higher education and culture sectors. Mr. Johnson most recently served as the Chief Advancement Officer for Friends of the High Line and Vice President of Development and Communications with The WNET Group.
Mr. Johnson began his career as an arts management professional working for the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and the Negro Ensemble Company, and over the years has provided strategic planning, program assessment, and community engagement expertise to a range of consultancy clients, including The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Walker Arts Center. Mr. Johnson also previously served as Associate Director of Development in UCLA’s College of Fine Arts, and as Assistant Dean in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University’s division of Alumni Affairs and Development. Also at Cornell, as Associate Vice President, he established the university’s Northeast Corridor Program to cover the region from Boston to Washington, D.C. as part of a restructuring of the institution’s regional major gifts program. Mr. Johnson also founded the inaugural New York Regional Office for Northwestern University.
Mr. Johnson holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.