Semaj Johnson is a proud 1994 graduate of Country Day School and a 1998 graduate of Wesleyan University with degrees in African-American Studies, Political Science and Religion. As a Country Day student, Mr. Johnson played basketball, wrote for the V.I. Daily News Teen Editorial Board, co-hosted a locally-aired television program – Youth Experiencing Success – and founded Youth for Youth, a radio program on WRRA in Frederiksted. In college, Semaj rowed crew, coordinated concert series and served as a student ambassador and consultant for the University’s Strategic space planning committee.
Upon graduating from Wesleyan, Mr. Johnson worked in New York City as a research associate for the former president of the Ford Foundation and later served in the South Bronx as Director of Commercial Revitalization and Director of Community Organizing for two inner-city sustainable development corporations. He later travelled to Kenya to serve as vice-president for Carolina for Kibera, a non-profit working in the slums of Nairobi. After returning to the U.S., he worked as an editorial editor for a Washington D.C. newspaper, and was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President. In 2005, he earned his juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. In the same year, he returned home to the Virgin Islands.
Mr. Johnson’s Virgin Islands community involvement includes serving as: an adjunct professor at the University of the Virgin Islands; Educational Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc,’s Iota Sigma Lambda chapter; member of the Waste Management Authority’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee; contributing writer for the V.I. Bar Journal; Board of Governors for the V.I. Bar Association; trustee of the V.I. Resource Center for the Disabled; trustee of the V.I. Humanities Council; and president of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts. In 2014, Mr. Johnson was awarded the Marguerite Cobb-McKay Prize for recognition as an emerging Virgin Islands author. He clerked for Hon. District Court Judges Raymond L. Finch and Wilma A. Lewis. He currently works as a senior corporate litigation attorney for K.A. Rames, P.C.
Mr. Johnson credits Country Day School as the institution that first taught him the power of preparation, deep intellectual independence, a strong professional work ethic, creative relationships and a structured approach to pursuing curiosity. He is serving his second term on the Board of Trustees.