David J. Johns has been appointed as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. As executive director Johns will be asked to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African American student achievement from cradle to career. The goal of the initiative is to work with federal, state, and local agencies as well as community groups to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African-American students.
Johns has been serving as a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is a former elementary school teacher in New York City.
Johns is a graduate of Columbia University where he triple majored in English, creative writing, and African-American studies. He earned a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College of Columbia University.