Jessica L. Johnson serves as the assistant commissioner of administration, operations and strategy for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. She most recently served as the senior policy advisor for budget, finance, and policy, where she was responsible for the strategic design and management of the department’s $1+ billion budget, the analysis and revision of the department’s financial systems and the provision of leadership and guidance for the budget, fiscal and procurement teams. She also served as a strategic advisor to program managers, who are focused on recruiting industries from around the world to locate in Tennessee and preparing Tennessee communities with the strategy and infrastructure for economic growth for generations to come. In her new role as assistant commissioner, Jessica will continue serving to provide strategic leadership to the administration and operations division including administration, operations, budget, finance, strategy, and research teams for the department.
In 2017, Jessica received the Tennessee Governor’s Excellence in Service Award, which recognizes outstanding public servants who are at the forefront of improving how Tennessee State Government delivers services to citizens.
Born in Natchez, Mississippi, and raised in Gallatin, Tennessee, Jessica graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Gender Studies and in 2016 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University’s Owen School of Management. She holds a Certificate of Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Certificate of Theology and Ministry from the Princeton Theology Seminary. Currently, Jessica is a candidate for the Master of Divinity degree at the Duke University Divinity School focused on Black Church Studies and Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy and Social Transformation.
Jessica values community and purpose-driven service. Jessica serves on the board of directors and as the treasurer of the executive board of Millions of Conversations, is a consulting advisor for Soulfire International Ministries and has participated in a host of community-oriented organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Room in the Inn, Urban League, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and on the young leaders committee of Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse.
She is an ordained elder at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, pastored by Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III. As an elder, she serves in congregational care, Christian education and as the administrator of the 30,000-member church’s Ministers in Training (MIT) program, which is designed to equip ministers to be deployed to the service of ministry.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys learning, reading, writing, solving problems, traveling, being a great auntie to Skye, Tori, and Caleb, and becoming better today than she was the day before.