Em Johnson ‘18 (Antioch Santa Barbara, MBA in Social Entrepreneurship and Strategic Planning) was hired as the new Director of Climate Resilience for the Community Environmental Council. In her new role, Johnson is charged with empowering California’s Central Coast communities to better respond, recover, adapt, and thrive in the face of climate change-related disruptions.
Johnson brings a wealth of expertise in rural innovation, social enterprise, and nonprofit leadership to the position. During her five years as Executive Director of the Blue Sky Center, she brought creativity, innovation, and investment into the Cuyama Valley in Central California. She has worked with local entrepreneurs to design and implement collaborative projects aimed to create thriving and inclusive rural communities. One of Blue Sky Center’s successful initiatives is the Cuyama Beverage Co, which partners with local farms and businesses to create jobs and invest in a hyper-local food system in the Cuyama Valley.
In 2020, she made the Pacific Coast Business Times “40 Under 40” list, and in 2021 was nominated as an inaugural member of the Rural Futurists cohort sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and FutureGood. Johnson also sits on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Food Action Network, a sustainable, local food system initiative that CEC helped establish.