Philip W. Johnston is the president and founder of Philip W. Johnston Associates, LLC, a communications and public affairs consulting firm. Prior to establishing his firm in 1996, Phil served in senior positions in the Massachusetts legislature, the Massachusetts State cabinet, and the United States government.
In 1984, Governor Michael S. Dukakis appointed Johnston the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts. As Secretary, he was responsible for the administration of state agencies in the health and human services field.
In 1991, Johnston served as the Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. A year later, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the New England Administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he had supervisory responsibility for a multitude of federal Health and Human Services programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and many other programs serving vulnerable populations in the six New England states. From 2000-2007, Johnston was twice elected Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
Johnston was appointed in 2007 by Governor Deval Patrick as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts. In 2013, Johnston was elected Chairman of the University of Massachusetts Building Authority Board of Directors.
Johnston has served on the Board of Directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts since 1998. In 2002, he was appointed Board Chairman of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, which provides grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations which work in the healthcare field on behalf of low-income citizens. In addition, Johnston is the Board Chairman of the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum.
Johnston also sits on the board of the Carroll Center for the Blind, the Tramuto Foundation, along with the Advisory Board for the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center. In 2012, Johnston was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. Most recently, Johnston was named a trustee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.
Johnston founded and served as Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, one of the top juvenile justice and social services agencies in the country.
Johnston received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Arts degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bridgewater State College, and Curry College.