Justine Johnson to join the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, bringing extensive economic development and mobility experience to Michigan
Recognized as a Top State for Doing Business and being the next Silicon Valley for automotive technologies, Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification continues to build momentum and grow Michigan’s competitive advantage as the place where mobility solutions are born and where mobility companies find long-term success and support.
Following a competitive six-month, nation-wide candidate search process, today Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Justine Johnson as Chief Mobility Officer and head of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, effective August 21, 2023. Johnson succeeds Kathryn Snorrason as Interim Chief Mobility Officer and Trevor Pawl as the state’s first ever Chief Mobility Officer.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Justine to Team Michigan and am grateful for Kathryn and Trevor’s efforts to build our state’s position as a renowned leader in this new generation of mobility and transportation technologies,” said Governor Whitmer. “Under Justine’s leadership, we’ll continue to put the world on notice that if you seek a place to research, innovate, test and deploy the next generation of mobility technologies, we welcome you to make it in Michigan.”
“It’s with equal parts excitement and honor to be joining Team Michigan to help this State continue making its mark on the future of mobility and electrification. I give much gratitude to Governor Whitmer, Kathryn Snorrason, and Trevor Pawl for their leadership in positioning the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification – and the entire state of Michigan – in being a recognized leader of the next frontier for the automotive and mobility industry,” said Justine Johnson. “We’re at a critical period in our nation’s history that requires a focus on people-centric mobility journeys, improving the distribution and movement of goods, and delivering a workforce that is prepared for future transportation and mobility jobs. Together, we will continue moving towards a future world where mobility innovation connects communities to housing, jobs, and economic prosperity for all.”
Johnson is an accomplished economic development and mobility executive with more than 10 years of experience in external affairs, strategy and government and community relations. Most recently, Johnson was appointed to the Los Angeles County Aviation Commission to advise the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on the operations and development of the County’s five airports. She also served as the Director of Member Engagement at the California Mobility Center (CMC) which is a non-profit that promotes commercial interactions with new mobility companies and industry-leading entities to deploy new products, programs, and services in clean mobility in the State of California, and beyond.
Previously, Johnson served as the Head of Mobility Engagement for the SoCal/Southwest Region at Ford Motor Company. This promotion was a result of her successful tenure as Ford’s Mobility Strategist. During her time in New York City, she served as Vice President of Government & Community Relations for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, managing government and community relations for Mayor de Blasio’s innovative commuter ferry system. However, her impact on transportation initiatives within NYC was initially established during her time with the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission where she worked on the “Boro Taxi” project, also known as the Green Taxi program, which created a new for-hire vehicle and driver classification.
Johnson is a native of Los Angeles, CA, and believes in giving back to her community through her service. Johnson holds two Master of Arts degrees from the University of Southern California in Urban Planning and Public Administration. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University in Political Science and Government.
“The appointment of Justine will allow her vast background and experience in the expansive mobility sector to shine as we continue efforts to create a stronger state economy through safer, more equitable and environmentally sound transportation for all Michigan residents,” said Susan Corbin, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Justine will be a strong champion as we work together to strengthen Michigan’s economy and enhance communities across the state through responsive policy and dynamic programming that prepares Michigan for the future.”
“We’re excited to welcome Justine to the state and so thrilled to have her as a leader on Team Michigan! We appreciate Kathryn and Trevor’s work getting OFME to this point. Justine’s multi-modal experience will accelerate OFME’s ability to provide companies and policymakers with insights that position our state as an undeniable leader in the future of mobility and electrification,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Michigan continues to invest in our people, win transformational projects and increase accessibility across both peninsulas. Justine’s national experience, proven track record of creative strategic collaboration and powerful personal story of how mobility changed her life will help the Whitmer Administration, legislative partners and all parties interested in mobility make sure greater mobility innovation occurs in Michigan.”
The Office of Future Mobility and Electrification works across state government, academia and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale up of emerging technologies and businesses.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that we’ve accomplished in the past three years at the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, driving forward a holistic approach to supporting both the startup and scale up of emerging technologies and businesses. It’s an honor to welcome Justine to the team and I look forward to working hand in hand with her to continue reinforcing that a connected, autonomous, shared and electrified mobility future will be born right here in Michigan,” said Kathryn Snorrason, Interim Chief Mobility Officer.
Since its inception in 2020, the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification has co-led 111 public/private partnerships that resulted in a new mobility technology or service being developed or offered in at least one Michigan community. In that time, the Office has facilitated more than $485 million in mobility-focused revenue and initiated $163.5 million in follow-on funding for local companies. On average, for every grant dollar the Office has awarded to deploy a new technology in a Michigan community, $3,500 has been provided by industry as a match to sustain the deployment.
Since 2020, the Office has spearheaded a variety of mobility initiatives and projects including:
- Launching the first state strategy for future mobility, the MI Future Mobility Plan
- Building America’s first road custom-built for driverless vehicles
- Building America’s first road that charges an EV while it drives
- The development of a signature EV route around Lake Michigan
- Launching a first-of-its-kind grant program to support sustainable maritime mobility
- Launching America’s first smart parking lab
- America’s first feasibility study for cross-border drone skyways
- The creation of the Midwest’s first airport innovation lab in Grand Rapids
- A first-of-its kind partnership to attract 5,000 tech workers to Michigan Central Innovation District in Detroit
- Co-led the creation of Michigan’s NEVI Plan ($110M for EV charging)
- Invested in the first autonomous, electric bus on a university campus
To learn more about how Michigan is leading in transportation mobility and electrification, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/mobility.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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