Keren Johnson WeLead Class of 2008-2009

WeLead alumna Keren Johnson headshot

Keren Johnson
Consultant, The Everstone Group

What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
The mainstream media paints a very partisan picture of the country. While it may seem that we are more divided than ever, WeLead taught me that women accomplish greater gains when we work together. The program introduced me to women from the other side of the aisle and allowed our cohort to find common ground. It was important to learn this lesson while I was still getting started in my career and it has stayed with me throughout my personal and professional life.

What was your favorite part of the program?
I had a wonderful mentor and access to incredible coaching from the women I met in the program. I participated in the WeLead program at a time when I was still uncomfortable expressing myself. WeLead allowed me to find my own voice. I learned to ask for what I wanted and make power moves. I became confident and knew that what I had to say added value in every setting. WeLead and the trainers from the Women & Politics Institute changed my career trajectory by empowering me to speak up.

What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Be sure to network with your peers. Many of my best friends and longest relationships came from my time in WeLead. Some of the same women in my cohort are now business colleagues, I've helped two women run for office, and I am fortunate to call upon my classmates for advice. Forge the bonds now and keep them tight, they will last a lifetime.

How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
I have run my own consulting company for the last five years. Several WeLead alumni helped me to secure my first clients, some are still clients, and there's no doubt in my mind that I will continue to work with many of the women who I met in the WeLead program. I constantly draw from the lessons that I learned in WeLead, whether it's for improving pitches, developing new business relationships, or collaborating with other women. Lastly, I would not have had the courage to start my LLC were it not for the support that I received from my WeLead colleagues. I try to pay it forward, inspiring other women to have faith in themselves and supporting fellow female entrepreneurs.

Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
The women that WeLead brings together come from such diverse backgrounds. It is our diversity that makes us stronger. Take the opportunity to get to know someone who doesn't look like you, think like you, speak like you. Find commonalities. Figure out the shared values and work together to advance issues such as pay gaps, representation in political leadership, and healthcare access. Women across the country and around the world are waiting for the next generation of female leaders to step up - we support you and can't wait to see your impact on the world!

After working for the DNC, in the office of Senator Clinton (D-NY) and for the Hilary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign, Johnson founded her own consulting firm to develop and execute strategic engagement projects for clients, including DEI work. She volunteers with The Black Swan Academy to expose underprivileged youth to service-in-action trips abroad.  Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, with a minor in Political Science, from American University in Washington, D.C.