PR Firm

Healthcare Reform Consulting


Healthcare Consulting


President & CEO

Philip W. Johnston is the President and Founder of the successful communications and public affairs consulting firm, Johnston Associates, LLC. Phil has more than 30 years of experience in the public sector, including serving in the Massachusetts Legislature, state Executive branch and the federal Cabinet. This experience in both the state and federal government gives Phil first-hand expertise in the drafting, interpretation and execution of legislation and executive orders.

From 1984 to 1991, Phil served as Secretary of Human Services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Michael Dukakis. Just prior to his appointment by Governor Dukakis, Phil had begun his fifth consecutive term as a State Representative from the Fourth Plymouth district of Massachusetts. Phil had been the Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial in Washington, D.C., an institution dedicated to improving social justice and human rights, when in 1992, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the New England Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He served in that role until 1996 when he became a Democratic candidate for the US Congress in the 10th District of Massachusetts. Beginning in 2000, he was twice elected Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

As a Board Trustee of the University of Massachusetts, Phil chaired the University of Massachusetts Medical School Search Committee for Chancellorship. He most recently served as Search Committee Chair of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellorship. In June 2013, Phil was elected Chairman of the University of Massachusetts Building Authority Board of Directors.

In addition to serving on the Board of the University of Massachusetts, Phil is the Chair of the Board of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum. He also sits on the Boards of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, the Carroll Center for the Blind, and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. In 2012, Phil was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also the Founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, one of the top juvenile justice and social services agencies in the country.

In addition to holding several honorary degrees, Phil received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Arts Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


It is the unique experience and education of our staff that allows us to accomplish so much for our clients. Providing the resources of a large firm, while maintaining the personalized service and cost-effectiveness of a small firm, Johnston Associates offers highly respected, skilled consultants, who maintain strong client relationships while utilizing a vast network of resources to develop a plan that will help your company succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Our Team:

About Us

Welcome to Johnston Associates

Johnston Associates LLC is a leading public affairs and strategic communications consulting firm servicing the diverse needs of organizations working in both the public and private sectors. Founded in 1996 and with offices in the Boston and Washington area, Johnston Associates has a well established track record of meeting and exceeding clients expectations.

No Frame

7.15.14-- Remembering John Seigenthaler.

8.28.13-- Johnston Associates is proud to celebrate the opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Lafitte Medical Clinic in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana. Johnston Associates worked closely with community leaders and the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights to open this new community health center in response to the BP oil spill and a historic lack of access to affordable, high quality primary care. Check out the video of the RFK Lafitte Grand Opening here.

8.12.13-- Banker & Tradesman prominently profiles Phil as newly appointed Chair of the University of Massachusetts Building Authority.

7.25.13-- Johnston Associates presents Webinar on the Affordable Care Act to its client, Alliance Institute, in preparation of health reform implementation on October 1st, 2013.

6.12.13-- Phil has been named Chairman of the University of Massachusetts Building Authority Board of Directors. Click here for more information.

6.7.13-- Phil receives the Edward M. Kennedy Founder Award from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

1.31.13-- Johnston Associates receives PR contract to represent distinguished restaurants Five-0 and Caffe Prego, and the new Inn on Shore Road, all in Ogunquit, Maine.

10.31.12 -- Phil has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School.

9.21.12 -- Phil receives Exceptional Leader Award from Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center. Click here for more details.

8.15.12 -- Johnston Associates seeks intern for Fall and Spring semesters.

6.21.12 -- Cara Heredia receives the Women of Courage award from La Alianza Hispana for her work in public policy and administration.

5.16.12 -- Phil Johnston receives the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance "Tip O'Neill" Award.

3.16.12-- Phil Johnston receives the Senator Edward M. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.

3.5.12 -- Dental Dreams LLC hires PWJA for state government relations.

1.3.12 -- Johnston Associates grant writing team helps secure $50 million federal Race to the Top education grant for state of Mass.

10.4.11 -- Johnston Associates is awarded major contract by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education to draft the state's Race to the Top application.

10.1.11 -- Phil Johnston on Elizabeth Warren Entering the US Senate Race: Read the full Washington Post Article.

9.26.11 -- Johnston Associates manages national launch of Health eVillages - a new partnership of the Robert F. Kennedy Center and Physicians Interactive.

9.23.11 -- Phil Johnston named Chair of the search committee for the new Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

9.1.11 -- Shawnee Shahroody Spitler joins Johnston Associates as lead grantwriter.

6.14.11 -- MaineBiz article on the opening of Johnston Associates' Portland office.

4.1.11 -- Johnston Associates opens a new office in Portland, Maine - continuing the company's pattern of growth and expanding its reach throughout New England.

4.1.11 -- Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership retains Johnston Associates' public affairs team.

3.28.11 -- Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress hires Johnston Associates for public relations and campaign strategy.

2.1.01 -- Visit our new Facebook page!

12.22.10 -- Phil Johnston and Jane Lane accept the Speak Truth to Power Award for the work performed by PWJA on behalf of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council's civil rights lawsuit.

11.17.10 -- RFK Center for Human Rights and its Board Chair, Philip W. Johnston, honor George Clooney with the Ripple of Hope Award in New York

11.01.10 -- Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society hires PWJA for grant writing and issue advocacy consulting.

10.22.10 -- Phil Johnston to speak at the 2010 Center for Connected Health Symposium.

08.01.10 -- Boston Irish Reporter feature story: "Phil Johnston, Lifelong Democratic Stalwart, Has Three Passions: Politics, Fairness, Equality."

04.22.10 -- Phil Johnston and Governor Mike Huckabee keynote the 7th Annual SAS Health & Life Sciences Conference in Cary, NC. Click to watch the videos.

02.22.10 -- Johnston Associates' Rebecca Pollard discusses the prospect of national health reform on NewsNight with Jim Braude.

2.10.10 -- Ron Kaufman and Phil Johnston handicap the Fall elections at South Shore Chamber Breakfast.

1.24.10 -- Phil Johnston's analysis on the recent Massachusetts Senate Election: NYTimes, ABC News, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Patriot Ledger

11.24.09 -- Phil Johnston introduces President Barack Obama at the RFK Memorial awards at the White House.

11.13.09 -- CNN Money: Phil Johnston and Newt Gingrich comment on joining the Board of the Board of the U.S. Health Efficiency Index.

04.01.09 -- Health information technology vendor, athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), retains PWJA's government affairs practice.

Recent Updates: