Velvet Johnson, Esq.
Velvet Johnson, Esq. is an accomplished attorney and cybersecurity professional with over a decade of experience advising public and private sector originations on issues involving national security and foreign policy. A proven leader, effective manager, and problem solver, Velvet has extensive experience building coalitions to deliver results.
Velvet previously served as an Obama Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense where she developed national policies and programs in support of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. In addition, Velvet has held several senior leadership posts on Capitol Hill, and from 2008 to 2014 she served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. There she provided legal advice and counsel on all aspects of homeland security and assisted in the development of the general political strategy for the Committee, with a focus on congressional investigations and departmental and executive branch oversight.
Velvet has been recognized for her leadership both professionally and civically. Velvet was named a Manfred Worner Fellow in 2016, the flagship leadership development program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. In 2012, she was appointed to the Maryland Commission for Women and served as the Commission’s Chair of the Legislation and Public Policy Committee from 2014 – 2016. A staunch advocate for meaningful reforms on criminal justice issues, Velvet has served as a Steering Committee Member for the Maryland Women Moving Forward since 2014. This annual day-long event provides approximately 125 women with the opportunity to attend workshops focused on re-entry issues including housing, education, mental health counseling and available resources, as well as providing an opportunity to participate in job interviews.
Velvet has been profiled in major publications such as Politico and Roll Call, featured in Capitol Hill’s Top 40 under 40, and is often celebrated as one of DC’s Most Influential Attorneys. Velvet graduated cum laude from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and holds a certification in cybersecurity strategy from Georgetown University.