Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed David A. Johnson DCR director in May 2010. Johnson has spent more than 14 years working on environmental policy and its practical application. He served as chief deputy for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) from 1998 through 2002 and as director for a short time in 2002. Since 2006, he has worked as an environment and energy consultant to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and represented the group before state regulatory bodies and the General Assembly. In 2009 he was named director of policy for the newly formed Virginia Fountainhead Alliance, an organization of businesses interested in Virginia’s environmental and economic future. In that capacity he conducted research and drafted comments regarding stormwater regulations proposed by DCR.
While at DEQ, Johnson undertook initiatives to enhance environmental protection and reduce costs. These initiatives covered pollution prevention, nonpoint source pollution, Internet-based environmental reporting, total maximum daily load (TMDL) development, wetland programs and the establishment of the Virginia Environmental Excellence program.
In 2004 and 2005, Johnson consulted with DEQ to streamline the agency's business processes. A report containing more than 100 recommendations, which would cut costs for DEQ and the regulated community, was submitted to the General Assembly as a result of that effort.
In 1996, Johnson served on the Governor’s Commission on Environmental Stewardship, and he chaired the Citizen Wetlands Advisory Committee on Wetlands Management Strategy in 1999. The committee's recommendations were the basis of legislation that created the Virginia Wetlands Program.
He also served as a key Virginia representative in negotiations between the Chesapeake Bay states and the EPA during the formation of the Chesapeake Bay 2000 agreement. More recently, he was appointed by the Virginia secretary of natural resources to the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Stakeholder Advisory Group in 2009.
In 1975, Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in Ocean Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also took numerous business courses at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1977 to 1978 and attended the Virginia Executive Institute in 1999.