Douglas A. Johnson Photo
Douglas A. Johnson
Lecturer in Public Policy
Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Office:
79 John F. Kennedy St. Rubenstein Bldg 234
617-495-8299
617-495-1923

Douglas A. Johnson is a Lecturer in Public Policy and the former Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has been a committed advocate of human rights since the 1970s, when he chaired the Infant Formula Action Coalition also known as INFACT. It launched a boycott against the world’s largest food corporation, Nestle, to force it to change its marketing practices. He also co-founded the International Nestle Boycott Committee, which had a collective membership of 40 million members and grew to include 120 major national organizations. Johnson has served as a consultant on strategic planning to human rights organizations in Latin America, as a consultant to UNICEF and the World Health Organization on an international marketing code for breast milk substitutes.

In 1988 Johnson was hired by the Minnesota-based Center for the Victims of Torture.  By the time he stepped down as its Executive Director in 2012, the Center had become the preeminent treatment facility in the U.S., supporting 33 rehabilitation centers in the U.S. and 17 centers abroad with technical assistance and funding.  During his tenure, the Center provided services to more than 23,000 torture survivors.  Johnson led several efforts to mobilize U.S. public policy including the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998, which created an annual funding stream of $25 million to support the rehabilitation of torture survivors around the globe.

Another of Johnson’s major initiatives was the New Tactics in Human Rights Project to broaden tactical knowledge and improve strategic thinking amongst human rights NGOs.  Johnson proposed and developed a global symposium on tactical innovations in human rights, which was held in Ankara, Turkey in 2004 in collaboration with Helsinki Citizens Assembly. It drew over 600 delegates from 89 countries and featured workshops on nearly 100 tactics. The NGO that emerged from the symposium – New Tactics -- continues to be a source of innovation and inspiration to human rights defenders around the world.

Johnson received a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Organization and his undergraduate degree in philosophy is from Macalester College.

 

 

Executive Education Programs
Courses

Transparent Engagement

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School.

Outside Professional Activities For Douglas A. Johnson

Professor Doug Johnson, then Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and his wife, Professor Kathryn Sikkink, were asked by the Open Society Institute to organize and teach a two-week training course in June 2014 for public policy students who then went on to do internships at OSI partner organizations.

During academic year 2014-2015, Douglas Johnson and his wife Kathryn Sikkink also conducted research and produced an evaluation of the work of the Colombian government’s reparation program.  The evaluation was financed by the Agency for International Development (AID).

Contact

Phone: 617-495-8299
Office: 79 John F. Kennedy St. Rubenstein Bldg 234

Faculty Expertise

Advocacy & Social Movements
Human Rights & Justice
International Relations & Security

HKS Affiliations

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Mailbox: 14
Cambridge, MA 02138