Brandy Johnson set to lead Michigan Community College Association

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Longtime college advocate Brandy Johnson is poised to become the next leader of the Michigan Community College Association.

Johnson on Tuesday was named president of MCCA, an organization that lobbies for Michigan's 28 public community colleges. 

She will begin at MCCA on Dec. 20, succeeding Michael Hansen, the organization's current president who is retiring at the end of 2021.  

Brandy Johnson, incoming president, Michigan Community College Association

“Brandy Johnson is a visionary leader with extensive policy and legislative experience, making her an ideal candidate to lead the Michigan Community College Association,” said Chris Bott, MCCA board chair and trustee at Northwestern Michigan College. “Her experience in college access, workforce and education issues will be valuable assets to Michigan’s community colleges.”

Johnson, a first generation college student, earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University and her master’s degree in public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.  

She founded and was the executive director of the Michigan College Access Network, formed in 2010 to increase college readiness, participation and completion especially among low-income, first generation college students as well as students of color.

Johnson also has served in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration since 2019. She was initially the governor’s education policy adviser and more recently the manager of the Office of Sixty By 30 within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development.

Johnson also was a policy fellow and college access coordinator under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat.

“It is an honor to be chosen to represent Michigan’s community colleges, which are providing Michiganders with premier higher education and workforce development opportunities all across our state,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with the talented team at MCCA and advocate for Michigan’s 28 community colleges so that they may continue to help our communities thrive and students achieve prosperity."