Paula Johnson

Paula Johnson

Synergos Senior Fellow & Senior Fellow, The Philanthropic Initiative

Paula Johnson is a Senior Fellow with The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) in Boston, Massachusetts. At TPI, she works directly with individual donors and foundations to develop and implement global giving strategies and programs. She leads efforts to understand, strengthen, and support global philanthropy and its impact on global development.

In addition to being a Synergos Senior Fellow, Ms. Johnson is also a Research Fellow with the Global Equity Initiative (GEI) at Harvard University.

Prior to joining TPI and GEI, Ms. Johnson held positions with international development organizations, including the Academy for Educational Development, the Education Development Center, and the Harvard School of Public Health. In the 1980s, she helped establish independent foundations in South America, Africa, and Asia. During the 1990s, she worked on a number of initiatives to strengthen civil society and build philanthropic capacity in Russia and Eastern Europe. In 2004, she worked with the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium on a research study to explore giving practices among high net-worth individuals in six Asian countries.

Ms. Johnson has authored and co-authored a number of studies on philanthropy and global development. Her recent research has explored diaspora giving, global giving through community foundations, the impact of U.S. philanthropy on specific international development and equity issues, and the development of new philanthropy within distinct cultures and countries. She is a trustee and director of the Kelsey Trust, a small private foundation that focuses on issues of education, children-at-risk, and the environment, and she serves as a board member of the Global Philanthropy Partnership

She received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Masters of Social Sciences degree from the London School of Economics.

TPI is a non-profit organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It seeks to increase the impact of philanthropy in society by working with donors to make their giving more strategic, effective, and fulfilling; by inspiring and supporting others to become deeply engaged in philanthropy; and by crafting creative and productive approaches to important social issues. In the last sixteen years, TPI has worked directly with more than 250 philanthropies and philanthropic support organizations in the U.S. and in countries around the world. GEI seeks to advance the understanding and tackle the challenges of equitable global development. Through the Global Philanthropy Program, it aims to strengthen the role of private philanthropic investments in advancing global equity.