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Kauffman Foundation hires chief people officer

Brandy Johnson joins Susan Klusmeier, Ed.D., and DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Ed.D., in Kauffman Foundation Leadership.

Brandy Johnson

Brandy Johnson has accepted the position of chief people officer for the Kauffman Foundation. Johnson’s appointment will be effective on January 3, 2024.

Ms. Johnson, a seasoned Human Resources (HR) leader with a strong track record in fostering diversity and belonging, has extensive experience in areas such as strategy development, organizational design, and talent acquisition. Johnson has played a key role in leading HR transformations and leveraging people analytics to enhance decision-making and drive organizational excellence.

Recognized for her contributions, she has received nominations for the Athena Young Professional Award and serves on various boards, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Central Exchange. Johnson is dedicated to mentoring and actively contributes to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Prior to accepting her new role with the Foundation, she was vice president, human resources, responsible for talent management, organizational design, and people strategy at Compass Minerals. As vice president, Johnson provided executive leadership across comprehensive HR strategy and service delivery spanning global business units and corporate functions.

As a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, she successfully implemented programs that resulted in significant improvement in diverse talent acquisition, and the professional development and advancement of women and historically marginalized communities. She proactively champions transformative HR practices, ensuring an inclusive workplace environment that fosters growth and belonging for all.

“I’m truly excited about stepping into this new role at the Kauffman Foundation, drawing on my previous experiences in cultivating vibrant workplace cultures. The prospect of fostering diversity and ensuring every individual’s voice is heard resonates deeply with me. I look forward to contributing to a workplace where every unique perspective adds to the richness of our collective success,” said Johnson. “I’m excited to work with the Foundation’s engaged associates and community partners and look forward to growing our impact in the community.”

The Foundation’s work prioritizes Kansas City and the surrounding region, championing initiatives, organizations, and communities that test innovative solutions and seek to change conditions that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Foundation shares its learning, knowledge, and insights, earning a national reputation and impact through its programs, research, and policy.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brandy Johnson as our new CPO. With a strong background in championing inclusive environments, she will lead our efforts to build a workplace where every individual feels valued and empowered,” said Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Kauffman Foundation President and CEO. “As we look toward the future, Brandy will play a pivotal role in shaping our workforce strategy, ensuring that our talented team continues to thrive and contribute to the success of our community.”

Please direct questions regarding the Foundation’s chief people officer to Lauren Aleshire, senior communications manager, or Kim Wallace Carlson, director of strategic communications.