Candy C. Johnson has over a decade of experience as a leader in nonprofit, government, education and various civic roles. A native of Clarksville, Tennessee, she was the youngest member of the Clarksville City Council ever elected at the age of 25. Prior to taking the helm of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga as President and CEO in January 2021, Johnson served as a senior advisor to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, where she acted on the mayor’s senior leadership team. There she oversaw community-focused initiatives to create sustainable partnerships and external investments to advance the administration’s economic, racial and social agendas. She also led the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Alliance in partnership with Bloomberg Associates, co-created the Styles L. Hutchins Black College Student Fellowship and led other public engagement efforts during her tenure with the Berke administration.
Prior to joining the City of Chattanooga in 2019, Johnson worked as an independent consultant, providing strategic planning, diversity and inclusion initiatives, resource development and educational equity advocacy services to nonprofit organizations. She also served as the policy director for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce before relocating with her husband and two children to Chattanooga in July 2017. Johnson spent seven years as executive director of a nonprofit organization, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation, prior to pursuing a career in policy.
Johnson graduated from Austin Peay State University with a B.A. in public management and a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University. Additionally, she is a graduate of Leadership Clarksville, Leadership Middle Tennessee and the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute and is a current participant in the Harvard Young American Leaders Program. She has served as an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee System and presently serves on several local and state boards.