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M. Tia Johnson

Distinguished Lecturer from Government

B.A., Hampton; M.S., War College; J.D., Temple; LL.M, U.S. Army JAG School; LL.M, UVA

M. Tia Johnson was appointed by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from August 2015 to...

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M. Tia Johnson was appointed by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from August 2015 to January 2017. She was the department’s principal liaison with the U.S. Congress, coordinating and overseeing the department’s legislative activity, and working closely with congressional authorization, appropriations, and oversight committees to advance departmental priorities. She advised the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other senior leadership on all legislative matters.

From December 2014 to August 2015, she served as the Senior Advisor to the Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS, where she developed strategies and plans to implement the President’s 2014 Executive Actions on Immigration Reform.

Professor Johnson is a retired U.S. Army Judge Advocate specializing in international and national security law. In 2002, she became the first African-American female to be selected to the rank of Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps’ 227-year history. Throughout her 30-year career, she served in a variety of judge advocate positions. In her final assignment, she served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Department of Defense General Counsel. Immediately prior, she served as the Special Assistant for Legal and International Security Affairs in the DoD Office of Legislative Affairs. In that role, she helped stand-up the Congressional Investigations Unit, and handled multiple Congressional investigations into Guantanamo Detainees, WikiLeaks, and the Osama bin Laden raid.

In addition to being a frequent presenter at various law schools, Professor Johnson’s previous academic experience includes serving as the Waldemar A. Solf Chair of International Law at the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate Generals’ School, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she taught courses in national security law, intelligence law, interagency processes, and the Law of War. After the September 11 attacks, she developed a new course on Homeland Defense and helped co-author the accompanying Handbook. Early in her career, she served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey.

Professor Johnson obtained her J.D. from Temple University, and two LL.Ms; one from the Judge Advocate Generals’ School, and the other from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also has a M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

In the News

"Campus Notebook: Sally Yates at Georgetown; Misericordia's new bioethics center," coverage by National Catholic Reporter, September 29, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitors from Government Sally Yates, Matthew Colangelo, M. Tia Johnson, and Karl Thompson.

All News

"Campus Notebook: Sally Yates at Georgetown; Misericordia's new bioethics center," coverage by National Catholic Reporter, September 29, 2017, featuring Distinguished Visitors from Government Sally Yates, Matthew Colangelo, M. Tia Johnson, and Karl Thompson.

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