Andrea Johnson, a program officer in the Corporation’s International Program, works with the Higher Education and Research in Africa (HERA) and Peacebuilding in Africa teams. For HERA, she oversees the strategy to develop and retain a new generation of African academics. For the Peacebuilding portfolio, she collaborates on a strategy to expand the pool of African peacebuilding scholars and to connect them to international scholarly and policy communities. She previously developed the strategy to enhance women’s opportunities and gender equity in African higher education, managed university-strengthening activities in Nigeria, and designed and implemented a capacity-building program for African universities on such themes as educational advancement and research management. Through the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (a joint effort of the Corporation with the Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller, William and Flora Hewlett, and the Andrew W. Mellon foundations), Johnson worked closely with colleagues at other participating foundations to develop and implement strategies to improve access to Internet connectivity for higher education and research. Prior to that, she engaged in grantmaking on transitions to democracy in Africa, development assistance reform, and public and policymaker education about Africa.
Johnson began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, serving two years in Riobamba, Ecuador, and has research and professional experience in both the United States and the Global South. She joined the Corporation in 1991 from the New York City Department of Transportation, where she was a research assistant and operations analyst. She has also worked at the Mozambique Ministry of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Johnson earned a BA in economics from the College of William and Mary and a Master of International Affairs degree in economic and political development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She has undertaken doctoral studies at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Johnson is a trained community organizer and worked as a volunteer within the Industrial Areas Foundation network. She is a cofounder of the Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group and currently serves on its steering committee.