The Honorable Karen A. Johnson served as Assistant Secretary
of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs. In
this Senate confirmed position Ms. Johnson was the Departmentís
primary contact with Capitol Hill, overseeing the direction,
planning and development for the implementation of the Administrationís
legislative goals and priorities. As Assistant Secretary,
she often joined Members of Congress in their districts addressing
the landmark and controversial No Child Left Behind Act. A
senior member of the Departmentís staff, Ms. Johnson was a
key advisor to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, providing
strategic counsel on legislative, political and communications
Before working as Assistant Secretary of Education, Ms. Johnson
was vice president of social marketing and public affairs
at Porter Novelli, where she had oversight of a number of
not-for-profit and foundation clients including Catholic Charities
and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Ms. Johnson is a veteran of numerous campaigns and large scale
political management efforts, including the 2000 Republican
National Convention in Philadelphia, where she served as convention
manager for public liaison, overseeing the logistics and activities
of the convention's 45,000 visitors. Additionally, she managed
U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasichís presidential
primary campaign and leadership political action committee
-- Pioneer PAC.
Ms. Johnson continues to be called up to lend her expertise
in the field. In 2006, she was deployed to Oregon where she
worked for several months as grass roots coordinator and advisor
to Ron Saxtonís Gubernatorial campaign. In 2007-2008, she
served as a senior advisor for former Arkansas Governor Mike
Huckabeeís presidential bid and continues to be politically
active in her home state of Virginia.
Her campaign work is recognized internationally as well. Ms.
Johnson frequently travels to Istanbul on behalf of the International
Republican Institute to work with emerging Iraqi women leaders
and serves as a mentor to women leaders in Jordan and Egypt
through CLIME (Center for Liberty in the Middle East). Most
recently she traveled to Albania to work with a variety of
coalition groups on the topics of advocacy, leadership and
Ms. Johnsonís unique political resume earned her a fellowship
at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications
and a speaker at the Fels Institute of Government.
An active member of her community, in recent years Ms. Johnson
has focused her efforts on education-related organizations.
She is on the Board of the Washington Mathematics Science
Technology Public Charter High School in the District of Columbia,
and is an education advisory board member for BizWorld, a
San Francisco-based non-profit that inspires children to be
innovative leaders through the teaching of business, entrepreneurship
Ms. Johnson began her career as a staff assistant for Congressman
Duncan Hunter (R- CA). She is a graduate of Appalachian State
University in North Carolina, where she earned a bachelor's
degree in communications. She is the veteran of over a half
a dozen marathons and has hiked to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.