President & CEO

Linda E. Johnson, President & CEO
Brooklyn Public Library

Linda E. Johnson, Interim Executive Director, Brooklyn Public LibraryLinda E. Johnson
Photograph by Philip Greenberg

Linda E. Johnson was appointed President & CEO of Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) in August 2011, following a year of service as Interim Executive Director.

As President & CEO, she manages and oversees the operations, finances, and programs of the 60-branch public library system serving Brooklyn’s more than 2.5 million residents. To advance the Library’s mission of providing the people of Brooklyn with free and open access to information while preserving knowledge, history, and culture, Ms. Johnson’s priorities include: building BPL’s brand, presence, and position in the community; developing creative strategies for identifying and engaging diverse constituencies critical to the Library’s development and programmatic goals; and determining areas for collaborations and partnerships to enhance Library operations while creating new services.

In addition to representing the Library at the local, state, and national levels, Ms. Johnson works with peers at libraries in New York City and across the country as an advocate for improving the quality of programs and increasing impacts for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Prior to being named President of BPL, Ms. Johnson was Interim President and CEO of the National Constitution Center (NCC) where she was charged with reorganizing, streamlining, and stabilizing the institution on a transitional basis after the unexpected departure of two previous CEOs. While at the NCC she was responsible for management of a national Board of Trustees, chaired by President Bill Clinton, as well as executive leadership and oversight of fundraising initiatives and special events, including the Liberty Medal award ceremony, the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution, and other national and international civic education programs.

Before taking the helm at the NCC, she served as CEO of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. During her term, she raised over $40 million for a capital campaign to finance a major renovation and expansion of the Parkway Central Library, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. She also oversaw the Library’s annual giving campaigns and was responsible for signature Library programs, including One Book, One Philadelphia, the Free Library Festival, and Summer Reading.

The majority of Ms. Johnson’s career was spent in the private sector. She left the practice of law in 1990 to join JCI Data, a privately-held information services and database management provider to magazine publishers and direct marketers. Ms. Johnson led several divisions of the company, including customer service, and sales and marketing. She took over as President of Worlco Data Systems (an affiliate of JCI) in 1993, and became President of JCI in 1994 after merging the two companies.

Ms. Johnson is active on several nonprofit boards, serving on the executive committee of the board of Hamilton College, where she also chairs the building, grounds and equipment committee; the executive committee of the board of the Museum of Arts and Design; the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; and the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. She is also an advisory director on the board of the Metropolitan Opera and previously served on the Germantown Friends school committee.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia region, Ms. Johnson earned her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Her post-graduate achievements include an MBA and a degree in law.