Lorna K. Johnson
...is the Principal of Global Linkages, Inc., a management consulting firm, representing a multitude of organizations including a cross-section of nonprofits, educational institutions, faith-based, businesses, and municipalities. Global Linkages builds international partnerships providing, strategic planning, organizational development, governance, fund development, volunteer development, grantsmanship, and program management. It has a particular focus on those organizations whose work includes international and global interest with a special focus on the African continent. With a passion for Africa, she has served organizations, in creating viable partnerships with the continent. Most recently, she has used her experience in Africa to assist and create awareness on the needs of African immigrants in the United States. She is also working with others to create the Center for African Community Services, Inc., the first support organization for this community in the State of New Jersey.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she served as the Capacity Building Consultant for Sister Cities International, based in Washington, DC and worked with local municipalities in Africa to create partnerships with US based cities. She has also served as the Director/Consultant of the Africa and Caribbean Regions for United Way International. In this position, she was responsible for the development and management of UWI’s portfolio in Africa as well as English-Speaking Caribbean. During she invigorated the organization’s commitment to serving these areas and was responsible for the creation of United Way Ghana and United Way Uganda.
Her work in the continent began in 1993 in Ghana and since then she has made over 100 trips there, as well as has worked in over 25 countries in the continent throughout West, East, North and Southern Africa.
Global Linkages has made a footprint in a variety of areas including, but not limited to: alleviation of poverty; gender issues; youth; sustainable tourism; health; housing; HIV/AIDS; and the arts. In 2003, Global Linkages, Inc. provided services to the Southern Africa USAID HIV AIDS offices to create partnerships with international organizations, resulting in the development of the first Sister City relationship with Swaziland and Ft. Worth, Texas, one of the United States best sister cities programs. Micro-finance partnerships with local entrepreneurs were also established as an outreach of these efforts.
Trade missions and study tours have served as the heart of Global Linkages, Inc. work connecting Americans with partnership opportunities that exist in Africa. Ms. Johnson has been responsible for the coordination of the two official state trade missions sponsored by the State of New Jersey in 1993 and in 2003 to Africa. She has also led both non profits and businesses including the National Congress for Community Economic Development, and the Executive Leadership of United Way of America under the Chairmanship of Dr. Johnetta B. Cole (2006) to South Africa and Ghana. In September 2007, Global Linkages. Inc. coordinated a community development study tour to Ghana for two leading community development corporations, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights and the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, both of Washington, DC. Global Linkages has coordinated the partnership work of the Global Women’s Leadership Collaborative led by Newark City Council President, Mildred C. Crump to Ghana. With over 20 participants, over $150,000 worth of donations were made to ten (10) different partners in Ghana including the School for the Blind, United Way Ghana, various schools, and the City of Kumasi. All of these visits have resulted in continuous partnerships that Global Linkages. Inc. continues to assist and support. Most recently, in 2014 over 255 diverse persons from 5 groups traveled to South Africa with Global Linkages as part of the 20th anniversary of Freedom. Including among them were Bennett College, the Women of Color Quilting Network and a delegation led by Mayor Carl W. Brewer of Wichita, Kansas.
Other clients have included the Garden State Bar Association (NJ), Johannesburg Child Welfare Society, Community Technical Assistance, Inc., the AME Church-14th District (West Africa), the Newark Assets Building Coalition, the United Ways of New York City and Essex and West Hudson, the Educational Law Center, the Harlem YMCA/YMCA USA, Citigroup, Guardian Insurance, York College CUNY, the National Congress of Community Economic Development, the New Jersey Commission & Economic Growth Commission and a sixteen (16) year relationship with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Proud to be considered a practitioner with academic leanings, she has served as an adjunct faculty in the School for Public Affairs and Public Administration at Rutgers Newark, the State University of New Jersey, as well as creating and teaching pre-college programs with a focus on global awareness.
She previously served as the Director of Policy, Planning & Development for the City of East Orange, NJ (Deputy Mayor) and the President & CEO of the Urban League of Essex County (Newark). She has also served in many volunteer board leadership positions, including currently as a member of the board for the Washington, DC based Sister Cities International, and serves as a member of the Mayor’s Newark, NJ African Commission. In the past, she has served on the board of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, and the Carter G. Woodson Foundation.
An ardent supporter of the arts, she has worked with Deeply Rooted! Dance Company based in Chicago, Illinois, where she successfully led them to participate as the first US based dance company to perform in the 16 year old JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival in Durban, South Africa in 2013. Her most current project is assisting with the development of Lights, Camera, Diaspora!, a Los Angeles based non-profit that provides a bridge between the US and African entertainment production communities.
Ms. Johnson received her undergraduate degree from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY and her law degree from Rutgers University, School of Law-Newark where she also attended the Graduate School of Policy, Planning & Urban Development. Her continued education has included a summer at Harvard University
Kennedy School of Government Program for Sr. Executives of State and Local Governments. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including in 2006, Business Woman of the Year by the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. Proudly, she is third generation and native Washingtonian but also considers New Jersey her home.