Michael E. Johnson

  • Board Mem­ber
  • For­mer Vice-May­or, City Of Phoenix & For­mer City Coun­cil­man, Dis­trict 8
  • Part­ner, John­son Nee­ley Pub­lic Strate­gies

Michael E. John­son is a local com­mu­ni­ty leader who believes that the ele­ments of col­lab­o­ra­tive lead­er­ship and hard work are an unbeat­able com­bi­na­tion.  John­son is a found­ing part­ner at John­son-Neely Pub­lic Strate­gies.  He is also a for­mer mem­ber of the Phoenix City Coun­cil, Phoenix Police Depart­ment and busi­ness own­er.

John­son-Neely Pub­lic Strate­gies is a bou­tique gov­ern­ment rela­tions firm locat­ed in Phoenix which pro­vides ser­vices in pub­lic pol­i­cy advo­ca­cy, com­mu­ni­ty rela­tions, busi­ness devel­op­ment and asso­ci­a­tion man­age­ment.  John­son works with clients on projects in the areas of local, state and nation­al gov­ern­ment rela­tions, law enforce­ment diver­si­ty impact, pro­fes­sion­al human rela­tions,    strate­gic plan­ning, and small, local, minor­i­ty and dis­ad­van­taged busi­ness rela­tions.

Michael John­son served three con­sec­u­tive terms on the Phoenix City Coun­cil from 2002 to 2013.  He rep­re­sent­ed Dis­trict 8, which encom­pass­es por­tions of cen­tral, east and south Phoenix.  His focus was on his com­mit­ment to improv­ing qual­i­ty of life for his con­stituents.  Putting his spir­it into ser­vice, John­son held essen­tial roles in the devel­op­ment of eco­nom­ic, sus­tain­able projects which impact­ed the dis­trict and city, many of which brought infra­struc­ture into under­served areas.  Some of these projects include the addi­tion of light rail and expand­ed bus tran­sit ser­vices; the down­town edu­ca­tion zone com­prised of the Bio­science High School, Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty and Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona; the down­town Sher­a­ton Hotel; the trans­for­ma­tion of the Civic Plaza into the Phoenix Con­ven­tion Cen­ter; the Lega­cy Vil­lage shop­ping and din­ing cen­ter at 24th Street and Base­line Road in south Phoenix; and mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar projects at Sky Har­bor Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, which include ter­mi­nal ren­o­va­tion, new air­lines and the Sky Train peo­ple mover sys­tem.

John­son was a mem­ber of sev­er­al City Coun­cil sub­com­mit­tees dur­ing his tenure.  He was chair of the Down­town, Avi­a­tion, Econ­o­my and Edu­ca­tion City Coun­cil Sub­com­mit­tee, and was a mem­ber of the Finance, Effi­cien­cy, Inno­va­tion and Sta­bil­i­ty Sub­com­mit­tee, the Pub­lic Safe­ty, Vet­er­ans, Trans­paren­cy and Ethics Sub­com­mit­tee, and the Trans­porta­tion and Infra­struc­ture Sub­com­mit­tee.  He chaired the Phoenix Eco­nom­ic Part­ners Board of Direc­tors, and was a mem­ber of the city’s Audit Com­mit­tee.  He also was on the board of direc­tors for the Down­town Phoenix Part­ner­ship and the Greater Phoenix Vis­i­tors and Con­ven­tion Bureau.

His ded­i­ca­tion to strate­gic lead­er­ship lead to nation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties.  He was a mem­ber of the Nation­al Black Cau­cus of Local Elect­ed Offi­cials (NBC-LEO), a con­stituen­cy group with­in the Nation­al League of Cities which rep­re­sents the inter­ests of African Amer­i­can elect­ed offi­cials, and was elect­ed to serve on its

board as pres­i­dent.  While pres­i­dent, he cre­at­ed a lun­cheon to fos­ter increased part­ner­ship between NBC-LEO and the Con­gres­sion­al Black Cau­cus.  His pres­i­den­cy pro­vid­ed him a seat with the Nation­al Pol­i­cy Alliance, an 11-mem­ber coali­tion of African Amer­i­can local elect­ed offi­cials and pol­i­cy-relat­ed orga­ni­za­tions which meets reg­u­lar­ly with Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma to address pol­i­cy mat­ters.  He also served on the Advi­so­ry Board of the Nation­al League of Cities.

Michael John­son has expert expe­ri­ence in law enforce­ment and pub­lic safe­ty after more than 21 years of ser­vice in the Phoenix Police Depart­ment.  Dur­ing his time with the Police Depart­ment, he received train­ing in sev­er­al sub­ject areas, includ­ing crime pre­ven­tion, medi­a­tion, inves­ti­ga­tions and var­i­ous cul­tur­al diver­si­ty top­ics.  He was hon­ored as Detec­tive of the Year in 1992, and retired in 1995 as a homi­cide inves­ti­ga­tor.

Johnson’s back­ground also includes entre­pre­neur­ship.  He briefly joined the pri­vate sec­tor after open­ing Nkosi, Inc. in 1996, a secu­ri­ty and inves­ti­ga­tion firm, where he served as pres­i­dent and chief exec­u­tive offi­cer until he began his first term in pub­lic office.  This expe­ri­ence set a base for his sup­port for the local busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, and he became a vocal advo­cate for the Small Busi­ness Enter­prise (SBE) & Dis­ad­van­taged Busi­ness Enter­prise (DBE) pro­grams spon­sored through the city of Phoenix.


  • St. Luke’s Med­ical Center/Tempe St. Luke’s Hos­pi­tal, Board of Direc­tors
  • Mari­co­pa Coun­ty Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion
  • Jew­ish Fam­i­ly and Children’s Ser­vices, Board of Direc­tors
  • Hero­zona Foun­da­tion Board of Direc­tors
  • A Bet­ter Road Foun­da­tion, Board of Direc­tors
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Phoenix

Col­lege of Secu­ri­ty & Crim­i­nal Jus­tice (Indus­try Advi­so­ry Board)


  • Nation­al Black Cau­cus of Local Elect­ed Offi­cials, Out­stand­ing Lead­er­ship Award
  • Nation­al Forum for Black Pub­lic Admin­is­tra­tors, Nation­al Lead­er­ship Award
  • Down­town Phoenix Part­ner­ship, two-time recip­i­ent of the Dreamr Awards
  • Greater Phoenix Black Cham­ber of Com­merce, Chairman’s Award
  • Greater Phoenix Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bureau, Vis­i­tor Indus­try Cham­pi­on Award
  • Mari­co­pa Coun­ty NAACP, Roy Wilkins Award for Out­stand­ing Lead­er­ship
  • Mari­co­pa Coun­ty NAACP, Out­stand­ing Lead­er­ship in Pol­i­tics Award
  • Nation­al Coun­cil of Negro Women, Inc., Phoenix Sec­tion, President’s Award

” We pro­vide diverse edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams that impact under-served stu­dents & vet­er­ans. ”