Gloria Johnson-Cusack, adjunct faculty member at the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University and Chairman-Elect of the Board of Trustees of the Firelight Foundation supporting communities in Africa, brings more than 25 years of executive management and training, strategic communications, lobbying and public policy expertise. Her work is informed by leadership positions in the private and philanthropic sectors, as well as significant time spent in the U.S. Congress, federal and municipal agencies, presidential campaigns, and the White House. She has been quoted in several national news outlets including a personal feature in CNN/Money news.
Johnson-Cusack is the immediate past President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), a Washington, DC-based association comprised of over 80 of the largest national human services organizations. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of Leadership 18, an alliance of 18+ CEO’s responsible for leading national nonprofit organizations including American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities USA, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Salvation Army, The YMCA, and United Way Worldwide. In that role, she was a principal strategist for the national Charitable Giving Coalition focused on preserving charitable tax incentives in the U.S.
She also served as a Senior Vice President at GMMB, a cause-marketing advertising and communications firm serving nonprofits, membership organizations, and foundations; Chief of Staff of the D.C. Office of the Inspector General; Director of the Office of Congressional Relations at the U.S. Peace Corps; Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of National Service; and Director of Constituent Relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service. She was on the domestic policy team (in 1992) and National Director of Surrogate Speakers (1996) in the Clinton/Gore presidential campaigns respectively, and was policy advisor to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator Albert Gore, Jr.
Johnson-Cusack serves as out-going national Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United Cerebral Palsy and as a current member of the federal Presidio Trust’s Advisory Council for the Presidio Institute focused on service and cross-sector leadership. She also is a founder of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership program at Brandeis University. In 2014, she completed a year-long United Way Worldwide Executive Leadership Development Program conducted at Harvard Business School, the Center For Creative Leadership, and Deloitte University. She holds degrees from the American University School of Public Affairs and Columbia College, Columbia University.