The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to announce the election of longtime volunteer and mentor Kelly Johnston to its Board of Regents.
Although Johnston is not a TFAS alumnus himself, he has dedicated nearly 20 years to TFAS through volunteering. His connection to TFAS can be traced back to 1995, when he first assisted students with internships in the U.S. Capitol. Johnston served as Secretary of the U.S. Senate at this time and notes that helping TFAS students is one of the highlights of his career.
Upon transitioning to the private sector, Johnston continued to dedicate countless hours to TFAS students by serving as a guest lecturer and hosting small group lunches. He also served for more than a decade on the Board of Visitors for the Business + Government Relations program track.
TFAS is the best summer intern program in Washington for the character and values it instills in our future generation of leaders. Nothing else comes close.” – Kelly Johnston
Johnston believes wholeheartedly in TFAS’s vision of winning over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government, and free markets. He stated that “TFAS is the best summer intern program in Washington for the character and values it instills in our future generation of leaders. Nothing else comes close.”
In addition to his volunteer service, Johnston encouraged both his sons to participate in our summer academic internship programs, which serves as testament to his confidence in the TFAS mission. Gavin Johnston ’09 participated in the Business + Government Relations program and Garrett Johnston ’13 in the Journalism + Communications program. Johnston says both his children had “memorable experiences that prepared them not just for future jobs and careers, but as fully engaged citizens.”
Johnston recently retired following a successful career serving in a variety of government and private sector roles, including several leadership positions within the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Johnston worked as a news editor and state capitol correspondent in his home state of Oklahoma. He went on to acquire positions as chief of staff and press secretary for three members of Congress, and from there went on to become the deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 1995-96, Johnston served as the secretary of the Senate for the 104th Congress, the position through which he first became acquainted with TFAS.
Following his time in the government sphere, Johnston served four years as the executive vice president of government affairs and communications for the Food Products Association, later merged with what is now the Consumer Brands Association. Johnston rounded out his career with 16 years of service as the vice president of government affairs for Campbell Soup Company and retired in 2018.
Johnston now resides in Pennsylvania with his wife Adrienne and remains active in the nonprofit community. He serves as a member on multiple boards, including the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) and Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University in West Virginia, among others. Johnston guest lectures occasionally at Shepherd University and George Washington University. He also has a blog, Against the Grain, where he opines civilly on public policy issues and politics.
The need for TFAS’s terrific programs has never been greater, and its role in preserving and promoting our values, understanding our history, and embracing our liberty has never been more important.” – Kelly Johnston
Johnston says he is thrilled to continue supporting future leaders through his service to TFAS as a member of its Board of Regents.
“The need for its terrific programs has never been greater, and its role in preserving and promoting our values, understanding our history, and embracing our liberty has never been more important.”
The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. The mission of TFAS is to change the world by developing leaders for a free society. TFAS offers transformational programs that teach the principles of limited government, free-market economics, and honorable leadership to students and young professionals in America and around the world. TFAS programs inspire these future leaders to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world by upholding the values essential to the preservation and success of a free society.