Tish Johnson-Jones, JD brings 20 years of combined financial, government, legal and corporate experience to her role as Executive Director for GreenLight Fund Greater Newark. She was most recently the Managing Director of External Relations and Communications for BRICK Education Network (BEN), the first and only charter management organization led by a person of color in New Jersey. In this role she was responsible for branding/marketing, communications, key stakeholder engagement, government, and media relations.
A fierce education advocate, Tish has worked in many facets of education for the past ten years. Prior to joining BEN, she led state-wide coalition, We Raise Jersey, which brought together leaders from across the state committed to advancing college and career readiness in New Jersey. Mrs. Johnson-Jones completed two education-based fellowships, 50 CAN Education Advocacy and Education Pioneers, she was also an instrumental member of school-based advocacy planning and implementation for North Star Academy.
Her interest in education advocacy arose during her time as a legislative aide for the City of Newark Municipal Council where she was responsible for establishing community partnerships, relationship management, developing and implementing innovative initiatives, and analyzing impending policies. Her time serving citizens in Newark was an enlightening experience and highlighted the need for high-quality schools and transparency in education reform, authentic community engagement, and macro-level policy change.
After her tenure in local government, Tish founded The Groundwork Agency (TGA). As Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, she consulted traditional public and charter schools, nonprofit organizations, and municipal departments to ensure they are reaching their maximum potential by developing meaningful programming and forming collaborative partnerships that allowed them to tremendously impact the communities they serve.
Prior to transitioning to the government and nonprofit sectors, Tish was a financial consultant in the public finance sector and supported over $500 million dollars in bond transactions across multiple municipalities. She also worked in corporate finance and as an assistant buyer for major retail organizations.
Tish graduated with honors from Spelman College with a BA in Economics and received her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. She also received a certification in Brand Development and Marketing Communications from Rutgers University. Tish is a former adjunct professor at Essex County Community College and Leadership Newark Fellow.
Tish is a board member of the After School All Stars- New Jersey and Girls: Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She resides in Newark, NJ with her husband and two teenage sons.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
Program Associate, GreenLight Greater Newark