Michigan Department of Civil Rights Selects Executive Director John E. Johnson, Jr.

Photo courtesy of the MDCR


John. E. Johnson, Jr. is now the executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) and also a new cabinet member of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, according to the MDCR website.

MDCR, an operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, enforces the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and connected disability laws in the state, the article added.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission named Johnson to the MDCR leadership position on Monday, July 26.  At MDCR, Johnson will oversee an annual budget of over $18 million and offices in Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.

Before he was appointed to lead MDCR, Johnson took the helm as MDCR Legislative Liaison and Advisor to the Commission, which began on May 3. He served as interim executive director for MDCR earlier this year from May 24 to July 26. Before his service with MDCR, Johnson was the executive director of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, a position he held for seven years, according to the website.

Throughout his career, Johnson held numerous leadership positions, from Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit to hearing officer for the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Johnson also owned a private law practice.

Johnson, born and raised in Buffalo, New York, has a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University. He has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan for over 41 years and has been involved with the Detroit NAACP since 1992.

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