Chattanooga Mayor's Office
Candy Johnson currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee where she acts as a member of the Mayor’s senior management, planning and decision team. In this role, Johnson also focuses on collaboration, civic engagement and external partnerships to help improve the lives of all residents. Prior to joining the City of Chattanooga in May (2019), Johnson worked as an independent consultant offering strategic consulting services to both public and private organizations in organizational and resource development, diversity and inclusion initiatives, program design, implementation and evaluation. Johnson is also an adjunct professor in the University of Tennessee System.
Johnson’s professional experience includes more than a decade leading in nonprofit, education, political and civic roles. Before relocating to Chattanooga in July 2017, Johnson served as the policy director for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce where she led the organization’s core education policy initiatives, strategically engaging its members through initiatives such as the longstanding Education Report Card, CEO Champions, Academies of Nashville and Education Committee. Her leadership as policy director contributed to successful outcomes at both the state and local levels.
Before embarking on her career in policy, Johnson took on the challenge of becoming executive director of a nonprofit organization, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation that had held steady for nearly 20 years. Johnson turned it into a thriving foundation, increasing revenues significantly and engaging facets of the community that never before actively supported the public school system.
Johnson is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee – where she was the youngest member ever elected to public office for the Clarksville City Council, at 25 years old. She holds a B.S. in public management from Austin Peay State University (2006) and a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University (2009). Johnson is also a graduate of Leadership Clarksville (2010) and Leadership Middle Tennessee (2013) and in the current class (2020) of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute.
Johnson serves on numerous boards and committees. She has also served on state and national platforms to address issues centered on educational equity, public policy, political empowerment and civic engagement.