James A. Johnson is a member of the US Studies Centre's Council of Advisors. He was a visitor of the Centre in September 2009. Johnson is a keen observer of American politics and economics and is a businessman with a very strong public service and public policy background. Previously, Johnson has worked for Gene McCarthy, Ed Muskie, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Lloyd Bentsen, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama as a full-time staff member, strategic advisor, or project coordinator.
Johnson has been a partner of Lehman Brothers (Corporate Finance), Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae, and Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC. He has served on the Board of Directors of nine New York Stock Exchange companies including Goldman Sachs, Target, UnitedHealth Group, Gannett, as well as Fannie Mae. Johnson has also served as Chairman of the Brookings Institution and Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds honorary degrees from several distinguished institutions and is a leader of various public service and philanthropic enterprises.