Caring, talented, and committed to a sustainable renewal of the Lower Ninth Ward – that’s our growing team at CSED. From our humble beginnings in the back of Greater Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church to our current office inside a historic barge house, the team at CSED can be found frequently at community events from the river to the bayou and throughout New Orleans while working every week with many neighborhood residents and business owners.
Arthur J. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer
Arthur was born in the Nation’s Capital but his roots are in New Orleans and date back to visits with his grandmother who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward on Forstall Street. He grew up in Washington, DC and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The George Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia, respectively. He relocated to New Orleans in 1999 where he has established himself as an accomplished fundraising professional and non-profit leader with a number of educational institutions and organizations. This has included work with Tulane and Xavier Universities and the New Orleans Public Schools. More recently, he has served as Regional Vice President for Major Gifts with the American Heart Association, Director for the Office of Development for Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, and Chief Development Officer for Operation Reach. As CSED’s Interim Executive Director, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and works closely with staff and volunteers to advance CSED’s key initiatives focused on Food Security, the Natural Environment and the Built Environment.
“I am very excited and honored to be part of the CSED family. This opportunity will allow me to contribute to the betterment of the Lower Nine community and to provide leadership and direction for an organization whose mission is vested in my heart!”
Happy Johnson, Chief Resilience Officer
Happy Johnson is a nationally recognized public advocate and author.
He served as one of the youngest African Americans to drive an Emergency Response Vehicle in New Orleans post-Katrina and has dedicated his life to building cultural and environmental resilience through a social equity framework.
The systemic displacement of young people after the storm reflected the adversity he faced in foster care. A proud resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, Johnson is a former White House Intern, W.K. Kellogg Fellow, FEMA National Achievement Award Finalist, and graduate of Georgetown University. TIME Magazine features his passion for collaborative leadership in the world history textbook Civics Today. News coverage includes CNN, Esquire, Louisiana Weekly, and C-SPAN.
Johnson was appointed Tricentennial Chairman of the City of New Orleans MLK Planning Commission and Board Member of the State of Louisiana Civil Rights Museum. His CSED portfolio includes sustainable urban water management and climate resilience, coastal restoration policy, renewable energy, and environmental stewardship. firstname.lastname@example.org