Derwin Johnson Affiliate Consultant

Office: (646) 591-4540

Derwin Johnson is an independent senior communication consultant with more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, communication executive and educator.  He is senior counsel to APCO Worldwide and Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Boardroom.  Clients rely on Derwin to advise them about how to develop media content, anticipate media conduct and drive local, national and international media relations campaigns.  Mr. Johnson conducts messaging, media and presentation training workshops, enabling clients to hone and deliver messages effectively and with impact to internal and external audiences.

Career Highlights:

  • Provides strategic and tactical guidance and is counsel to financial service firms, law firms, governments and Fortune 500 companies representing a wide range of industries, including airline, professional services, technology, pharmaceutical, health care, hospitality and beauty and fashion

  • Worked with governments and heads of state in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, Nigeria and South Africa, as well as scores of CEOs, corporations, NGOs and non-profit spokespeople around the world

  • Co-led the development of the National Communication Center for a Gulf Cooperation Council State and served as director of strategic communication and international outreach

  • Played a critical role in launching the first 24-hour news channel in the Republic of Georgia, training scores of professional and aspiring journalists and creating the network’s marquee primetime news program

  • Lobbied in the United States and Western Europe on behalf of media freedoms in that developing Eastern European country

Prior to becoming an independent consultant Mr. Johnson was a senior vice president at APCO.  Before joining APCO he was a principal at Vistance Group, a corporate and financial communication firm he co-founded in 2001.  In addition, he was U.S. director of media and communications training for one of the largest global public relations companies.

Passionate about helping others toward successful media careers, Derwin spent seven years at Columbia University as associate professor at the Graduate School of Journalism – teaching RW1 (Reporting and Writing One) the school’s core course and advising student masters’ projects.  He also co-taught a weekly, two-day Nightly News Reporting workshop.

Relevant Journalism Highlights:

  • Served as Middle East bureau chief for both CNN and ABC News headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon and Cairo, Egypt

  • Traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Western Europe covering politics, business, wars and unrest

  • Covered Vice President George H. W. Bush as a member of the traveling press corps

  • Broadcast producer for ABC News’ World News This Morning and Good Morning America news

  • Produced segments for numerous other television news shows, including World News Tonight, Nightline and 20/20

  • Senior producer for PBS’ pilot series Imaging America

  • Lead pool producer for the American broadcast networks for the Persian Gulf War based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; negotiated daily with the U-S Department of Defense for the release of the networks’ video coverage of the war

Mr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and he studied graduate journalism at Boston University.  He is a University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow; and a Mentor/Tutor at Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club.

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