Kevin D. Johnson is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the city’s leading inclusive economic development driver. He has served as president and CEO since June 2018.
Under Johnson’s leadership, the organization focuses on job creation, capital investment and small business growth for the City of Detroit. Access, inclusion and financial growth for all Detroiters form the foundation of all DEGC work.
As president and CEO, Johnson spearheads DEGC’s economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, neighborhood small-business growth and international investment. In this role, Johnson builds upon 40-plus years of positive impact the DEGC has had on Detroit. Most recently, Johnson was integral in bringing Fiat Chrysler’s $4.5 billion investment to Detroit, and with it thousands of FCA and supplier jobs.
A veteran of the industry, Johnson has served in both public and private economic-development positions throughout the U.S., including roles in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. In his most previous role at Invest Atlanta, Johnson led the economic development program for the city, helping to create jobs and generating billions of dollars in new capital investment.
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 a variety of leadership positions including president of the 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. Johnson was named one of the Top 50 Economic Developers of 2019 by Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants. He also serves as a member of the International Economic Development Council.