Global independent marketing and communications firm FINN Partners today promotes Kate Johnson to the role of Partner, PreK-12 Education. In addition to her deep public policy expertise, Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge to high priority education issue areas across the PreK-12 sector, including early childhood education, up/reskilling, credentials and workforce development as well as direct work with districts and state boards of education. Johnson will continue to report to Marina Stenos, Senior Partner, PreK-12 Education Practice Leader, Global Public Affairs, FINN Partners.
“We are at a critical point in history where leaders across education, business and policy are ready to address the long-standing, systemic challenges of how to provide equitable opportunity and access to resources that enable all people to thrive,” says Johnson. “Working at the intersection of these issues to support our clients’ efforts to advance policy, advocate for issues and share the many stories of impact across their fields of work is both humbling and motivating. My goal is always to do well while doing good, and I am fortunate to continue to work alongside so many colleagues on our collective education and public affairs team who share that same commitment.”
Johnson is a seasoned communications expert with expertise in education policy. As press secretary at both the Indiana and Florida Departments of Education under the tenure of education reform leader Dr. Tony Bennett, Johnson managed communications for the adoption and implementation of new standards and assessments, as well as issues on curriculum and instruction, and school safety initiatives. In her previous role at Strada Education Network, she designed and managed the rollout of the newly re-branded organization’s first major research initiative, Strada Consumer Insights—a multi-year, national research partnership with Gallup that examined the educational pathways and experiences of Americans aged 18-65. Currently, she serves clients in community advocacy and public affairs and has implemented numerous successful communications programs to distill complex education issues in ways accessible to all stakeholders. Johnson’s work elevates the importance of communications in supporting effective public policy through creative campaigns, and her deep connections with reporters, policy influencers, community-based organizations and colleagues in the education sector are critical.
“Our work in PreK-12 Education Practice is at the nexus of a variety of tough, long-entrenched challenges, particularly given what the pandemic has brought to the fore of the education space,” said Stenos. “Kate is leading client work in several key areas that are experiencing some of the greatest shifts in history, including early childhood education and workforce development. She is also a truly dedicated colleague who takes time to mentor team members and build relationships across our industry. As someone who truly embodies our ‘make a difference in the world’ values, Kate fulfills that purpose every day, for clients, for the students, families and communities they serve, and for her colleagues—it is a joy and privilege to work with her every day.”
Johnson is affiliated with several professional and civic organizations. She is an active member of the Education Writers’ Association, the Young Professionals of Central Indiana and the Tri Delta Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee. She also serves as liturgical minister and Pastoral Council Secretary at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Brownsburg, Indiana.
“Kate is a superstar who lives our values in her day-to-day work and is always focused on not just the bottom line but the greater good,” said Jessica Berk Ross, Managing Partner, Global Public Affairs Practice Leader, FINN Partners. “Her work supporting clients across the U.S. and globally is integral to our global public affairs expertise. She understands the importance of advocacy and building communications campaigns that are inclusive and address the needs of real people in communities.”