Leif Johnson | partner
President of FOCUS
Leif runs the Leonine FOCUS Washington, D.C. office, serves as CEO and Managing Director of The Advocacy Group, and manages FOCUS’s 50-state tracking and government relations practice, Leonine FOCUS. Johnson is a key player on FOCUS’s strategic counsel team helping corporate and trade association clients sharpen their state government affairs operations.
Previously, he was director of government relations and contracts, and director of corporate communications for West Publishing in Minnesota. At West, Johnson helped create a nationwide lobbying network in all 50 states. Subsequently, he managed West’s state and federal government relations and lobbying efforts, guided passage of database protection legislation in the House of Representatives and served as spokesperson for crisis communications events. At Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, Johnson was a public relations manager and directed the Commercial Line of Business public relations and reputation management initiatives. He also served as a legislative assistant and director of correspondence to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a legislative aide to Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, and led a congressional campaign in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Previous careers included Johnson as a tennis pro at Hazeltine National Golf & Tennis Club and a social studies teacher.
He was president of the Washington Area State Relations Group, a trade association of government affairs executives, in 2009-10. He also was a vice president for business development and operations at a Washington, D.C.-based state legislative and regulatory tracking company.
Johnson is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and holds a Master of Public Policy from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.