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Kevin D. Johnson is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the city’s leading economic development driver. He has served as president and CEO since June 2018. Under Johnson’s leadership, the organization aims to create 10,000 jobs, open 140 small businesses and secure $3.4 billion of capital investment for the city by 2020.
Johnson spearheads DEGC’s economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, foreign direct investment with international partners, support for Detroit entrepreneurs through the DEGC’s small business teams, and land development to unlock economic growth citywide.
A veteran of economic development, Johnson has served in both public and private economic-development positions throughout the U.S., including roles in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, before coming to Detroit.
In his most previous role at Invest Atlanta, Johnson led the economic development program for the city, helping to create 31,000 jobs and generating $3.7 billion in new capital investment. He also played a key role in bringing 17 new corporate headquarters to the city, including Porsche Cars North America, Groupe PSA, and NCR.
Johnson began his career nearly 30 years ago as the assistant county manager and Director of Economic Development for Casswell County Municipal Government. Throughout his career he has held positions including, president of Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, vice president of business development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and vice president of business development for Research Triangle Foundation in North Carolina.
Johnson received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Pre-Law from South Carolina State University. He received his Certified Economic Developer designation from the International Economic Development Council and has received numerous professional and community awards. He also serves as a member of the International Economic Development Council.