Alex T. Johnson, Chief of Staff


Alex T. Johnson is Chief of Staff of the U.S. Helsinki Commission for the 116th Congress.

Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Alex served as senior policy advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations where he managed U.S.-focused advocacy for 12 national foundations and regional programs ranging from Central Asia to Western Europe.  An expert on European human rights and transatlantic security, Alex is a former Obama Administration appointee at the Department of Defense where he served as Special Advisor for Russia/Ukraine External Affairs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy). In this role, Alex coordinated public affairs, strategic communications, and congressional engagements for teams supporting the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

Alex served from 2007 to 2015 as a policy advisor at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), where he advised bicameral and bipartisan contributions to parliamentary diplomacy with portfolios ranging from Eurasia, Europe, and the Near East.  His service included almost four years as Representative of the Helsinki Commission at the United States Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Austria. Prior to his Commission service, he was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellow in Chairman Hastings' office and a consultant for local government initiatives in Portland and Corvallis, Oregon.

Alex is known for his research and leadership of advocacy coalitions of diverse foreign policy professionals and is recognized for advancing inclusion for the U.S. national security workforce. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council. Alex holds a BS in natural resources and an MPP, both from Oregon State University.