Debra Johnson, PHM, CMPO, CME
Debra Johnson was appointed Executive Director of the Pinellas County Housing Authority in July 2009 after previously serving in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Johnson currently manages a staff of 70, a budget of more than 39 million dollars, and oversees the operation and administration of public, assisted and affordable housing units that provide housing for over 4500 extremely low to moderate income families; approximately 8500 individuals in Pinellas County.
Ms. Johnson has twenty-nine years of direct, hands-on experience in the public and assisted housing industry, twenty of which have been at the director level or above. Over the years Housing Authority programs under Ms. Johnson’s direction have won recognition and awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other industry organizations. At the request of the HUD she served on the HUD/National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Recovery Team for the special housing programs of the Atlanta Housing Authority in 1995.The HUD/NAHRO Recovery Team, a special priority authorized by HUD Headquarters, was comprised of the nation’s top public housing and HUD staff, and presented unique opportunities for a true partnership effort among noted Public Housing Authority officials, HUD officials, and the private sector. The primary mission of the Recovery Team was accomplished, removing the Atlanta Housing Authority from the list of troubled housing authorities.
Ms. Johnson has been associated with numerous organizations over the years, including the Low-Income Housing Leadership Network of Pinellas County, the Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and Leadership Tampa Bay. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, with major coursework in Mass Communications. She is also a 2004 graduate of the Rutgers University and Public Housing Authorities Directors Association’s Executive Director Education Program and has attained numerous industry certifications.