Derek
Johnson

Executive Director, Global Zero

Derek is the chief executive of Global Zero, the international movement for a world without nuclear weapons. As a creative strategist working on the front lines of catalytic advocacy, foreign policy, and social change, he has spent the last eight years positioning Global Zero as a highly credible source of thought leadership and policy analysis, a trusted intermediary among nuclear-armed governments, and a provocative grassroots operation in key regions. In addition to leading organizational strategy, Derek also spearheads special projects—from coordinating backchannel diplomatic dialogues to producing viral and award-winning digital content.

Before taking the helm at Global Zero, Derek supported efforts to advance interfaith dialogue and cooperation at the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, and worked to enhance access to justice, human rights, and rule of law at JUSTICE, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists in London. He is also a member of the Munich Young Leaders group of rising experts in foreign and security policy, organized jointly by Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference, and a North American representative of the European Young Leaders group organized by Friends of Europe.

I’m most excited to work on projects that… bring together strange bedfellows and break out of echo chambers.

I’m looking for partners that can help me… think outside the box, tap into public zeitgeist, create compelling content, and channel energy into political action.

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… seeing our #NoRedButton campaign break through in the 2016 election, establish the narrative about the president’s sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, and position the issue front-and-center for the American public in a lasting way.

Innovations in my field I’m most excited to work on… leverage new technologies that wrest transparency, risk assessment, and mitigation away from the near-exclusive control of governments and put them into the hands of NGOs, the press, and the public.

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