Virginia H. Johnson
Senior Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs
Virginia H. Johnson joined the senior staff team in 2017 as senior vice president of government relations and external affairs. In this capacity, Virginia provides vision and strategic leadership in support of the USO relationship with government and external stakeholders including the White House, Congress, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Guard and Reserve and state government officials.
Virginia has more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit community, senior levels of federal service, state government and the private sector. Prior to joining the USO, Virginia was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Virginia also worked as Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives over the course of eight years, including serving as Counsel to the House Armed Services Committee. She subsequently served as the Executive Director of the Office of the Chairman at the American Red Cross National Headquarters for two years prior to her appointment by the Bush Administration in 2006 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, Virginia had primary responsibility for communication and strategic outreach for Congressional Leadership, Committees and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and she served as a key advisor on legislative issues for both Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. She was retained by the Obama Administration to assist with the President’s transition team in 2009 and was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
From 2009 to 2012, Virginia served in a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader position overseeing legislative affairs at the Defense Security Service.
Earlier in her career, Virginia worked in the private practice of law for 10 years in Washington, D.C., and was on the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and the University of San Diego. Virginia graduated cum laude from Duke University and received a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.
More from the USO
Sep 25, 2020
How the Mobile USO Unit Creates a Home Wherever Service Members Go
In the wake of natural disasters and national crises, the U.S. military is called to action to support American communities, and Mobile USO vehicles are never far behind. These vehicles provide USO services and a home away from home for service members working in remote locations, to boost morale and keep them connected to their loved ones.
Sep 24, 2020
This Nurse Didn’t Let Anything Get In The Way of Her Service
After working with veterans for more than 12 years, Jennifer McGuigan decided it was her turn to serve in the military. Despite some challenges throughout the process, this summer she became a U.S. Air Force Reserve critical care nurse.
Sep 23, 2020
‘That Same Ending’: Soldier in South Korea Gets a Graduation Experience Thanks to SNHU and the USO
When one soldier completed his online master’s degree at SNHU – despite COVID and an overseas move – he wanted to find a special way to celebrate and thank everyone who helped him along the way.