Rob Johnston

Professional Profile
Talented editor with experience in print, video, and online media. Creative user of online tools including email, blogs, social networks, and hosted web services. Experienced, knowledgeable nonprofit professional with leadership and execution skills. Manager with broad and deep experience leading projects including conferences, award programs, online and print publications for nonprofits and commercial clients.

Professional History
19972014  Vice President, Some Pig Information Design [Freelance consulting business at times concurrent with full-time positions]

Provide editorial and marketing strategy, database and website programming for nonprofit and small business clients.

Key Achievements

  • Served as producer/editor for advocacy website for Moynihan Station for the Municipal Art Society in New York. Established editorial plan, provided content management system support, and coordinated with content and design experts to develop site and launch it. Drafted postings and worked with senior staff on editorial and promotional approach.
  • Developed Drupal back end for content management and fabric inventory presentation (Sina Pearson Textiles, New York City). Developed the function of the site and applied the graphic design (theming).
  • Developed SQLServer database and ColdFusion web pages to provide access to composer and musical information from customer’s (Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin, Ireland) in-house FileMaker database. Have refined site programming and offers since 2003 launch, including rss feeds for cmc news and monthly podcasts, YouTube for video hosting, and access to digital scores and sound files.
  • Refined customer’s (textile designer Pollack Associates, New York City) in-house Access database and developed SQLServer database and ColdFusion web pages to provide online access to fabric specifications and prices. Enhanced search and presentation with Javascript.

20082011  Manager Online Communications and Marketing, Ms. Foundation for Women

Worked with communications, development, and program departments to advance the foundation’s online communications goals.

Key Achievements

  • Managed development and launch of new website producing 80% increase in visits and 107% in pageviews (with 15% drop in bounce rate) in 2010 over 2009.
  • Expanded social networking efforts through Twitter and Facebook. Employed Tumblr for Outrageous Acts project celebrating Gloria Steinem’s 75th birthday.
  • Led adoption of Convio for email communication, online donations, event and donor management.
  • Created strategy and developed content (text, video, audio, and photo stories) for the website, blog and email alerts.
  • Wrote and designed advertising and other materials for print publication and distribution.

20052006  Executive Director, Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Pace University

Founding director of cross-disciplinary center.

Key Achievements

  • Created Social Entrepreneur in Residence program and brought first three entrepreneurs to campus.
  • Led selection of Wilson Professor and three faculty fellows to further academic work in social change.
  • Built Advisory Board of experts and supporters.
  • Established online presence through Wilson Center and ancillary blog sites.

20032005  Editor, Philanthropy News Digest, Foundation Center

Wrote and edited daily digests of stories on nonprofits and philanthropy. With writer, assembled weekly email newsletter featuring top items and contributed to other email newsletters.

Key Achievements

  • Delivered relevant, timely content for daily postings and weekly emails. Oversaw writer and coordinated with assistant in weekly production management.
  • Conducted author and expert interviews.
  • Reviewed books. Introduced Amazon Affiliate program to capture revenue from referrals.

20012003   President, Leader to Leader Institute
19912001  Senior Vice President, Program, Peter F. Drucker Foundation

Led staff, program development and execution of the nonprofit leadership and management education organization (today identified as the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute and operating as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management from 1990–2002.)

Key Achievements

  • Presentation of more than twenty conferences, video teleconferences, and seminars reaching thousands of nonprofit leaders from around the world. Conferences presented thought leaders with extensive experience in the social, public, and private sectors to examine critical leadership issues facing communities, organizations and individuals.
  • Publication of thirteen books and four videos on leadership, management, innovation, change, and collaboration for social sector leaders.
  • Executive producer of videos including Meeting the Collaboration Challenge (2002), Leading in a Time of Change (2001) with Peter F. Drucker and Peter M. Senge, Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership (1998), and 1997 nationwide video teleconference.
  • Developed four email newsletters including the “Nonprofit Innovation of the Week” which shared examples from the annual nonprofit innovation award contest.
  • Served as editor on Leader to Leader journal and as chief wrangler for several book projects. Developed board materials for organization governing board. Drafted communications for speeches, emails, website, annual reports, and other outlets.


Harvard Business School
Executive Education Certificate, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management

Stanford Graduate School of Business
MBA, with Certificate in Public Management

Yale University
BA, cum laude, with Distinction in the History of Art
A. Conger Goodyear Award for Excellence in the History of Art

Skills Summary                 

  • Program leader, editor, writer
  • Have led and worked with in-house and distributed teams on multiple projects including social media, web, print, video, award and conferences
  • Experienced in developing communication and marketing strategies
  • Knowledgeable presenter: have spoken to nonprofit and corporate audiences.
  • Website development, editing, maintenance, promotion
  • Tools and languages used: MS Office suite, Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Convio, Kintera, Blogger, Drupal, Wordpress, Google Analytics,, HTML, CSS, RSS, ColdFusion, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, MSAccess, MSSqlServer, BBEdit, Bugzilla, ftp, Putty


  • Reviewer of Echoing Green Fellow applications 2008-2010. Past member of: board and finance committee, Sequoia Community Initiatives, New York; national advisory board, MBA-Nonprofit Connection, Palo Alto, CA.
  • Publications include a chapter in Enterprising Nonprofits, (Wiley 2001), and co-editor of four Leader to Leader Guides (Jossey-Bass, 2002): On Mission and LeadershipOn Creativity, Innovation and RenewalOn Leading Change; and On High-Performance Organizations.