Cliff Johnson

Cliff Johnson

Executive Director

National League of Cities, Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

Washington, DC

Cliff Johnson is the Executive Director of the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C. In this role, Mr. Johnson is leading NLC’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of municipal leaders to meet the needs of children, youth, and families in their communities.

Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, Mr. Johnson spent three years as a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities working on the development of new approaches to job creation and innovative welfare-to-work strategies. For more than a decade, he served in senior staff positions at the Children’s Defense Fund, including three years as director of CDF’s Programs and Policy Division. For many years, Mr. Johnson led CDF’s work on issues related to youth employment and family economic security, and he played a major role in organizational initiatives focused on adolescent pregnancy prevention. He began his career as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He is also the co-author of two books on labor and social policy and served as a research associate to the late Sar Levitan at George Washington University’s Center for Social Policy Studies.