Michael S. Johnson

Principal, OB-C Group

Michael S. Johnson, described by the Washington Post as a “Republican heavyweight,” has had a wealth of experience in the Executive and Legislative branches of government and the private sector, spanning 35 years in Washington.

Mr. Johnson served on the White House staff of President Gerald R. Ford before moving to Congress, first as Press Secretary and later as Chief of Staff to then House Republican Leader Bob Michel of Illinois. As Chief of Staff, Johnson chaired meetings of committee staff directors, oversaw the development of major legislation, served as a senior political advisor and liaison to the White House, the Senate and party organizations. He was consistently listed by Roll Call among the most powerful Hill staffers. Washingtonian Magazine judged him the top House communications staffer.

Mr. Johnson has 21 years of experience in the private sector as a lobbyist and policy and communications strategist for both domestic and international clients. He is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Institute, an organization that works with Congressional leaders on institutional management and policy research. He was also among the founders of the Main Street Republican Partnership, an organization created to advance centrist approaches to the governing process. 

Mr. Johnson has hosted regular strategy sessions of senior communications professionals in Washington, and writes for the group’s website, newgopforum.com. He is involved as well in other advisory groups working closely with members of the House and Senate Republican Leadership. 

Mr. Johnson is a co-author of Surviving Inside Congress, a book originally written for new members of Congress and new staff. He is a lecturer on congressional affairs, the legislative process, political communications and advocacy. He served for many years as an instructor in political communications for the Legislative Studies Institute, a graduate-level program for individuals pursuing careers in the Legislative Branch. He has served on the operational staff of every Republican National Convention since 1980.

Mr. Johnson joined the firm in March 2001. Prior to his Washington career, he was the editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper in Illinois. He was reared and educated in South Dakota. He is married to Thalia Assuras and has five grown children.