Michael Johns

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Michael Johns (September 8, 1964 - ) is an American health care executive, former federal government of the United States official and conservative policy analyst and writer.


Born September 8, 1964 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Graduate, Emmaus High School (Emmaus, Pennsylvania), 1982. Bachelors in Business Administration, University of Miami (Coral Gables, Florida), 1986. Resides currently in Deptford, New Jersey.

A major force in corporate health care, Johns has served with global pharmaceutical powerhouse Eli Lilly, in the health care practice of a leading Philadelphia consulting firm and, since 2000, as vice president of Gentiva Health Services, a Fortune 1000 corporation. As part of Gentiva senior management, Johns has helped lead a quintupling of the company's market capitalization and one of the largest health care acquisitions in recent years [1]. He also has defended the interests of publicly-traded companies, including as a founding member of the CEO Council.

In his health care roles, Johns has advocated a moderate course on American health care policy, vigorously supporting the need to protect biopharmaceutical and free market health care innovation, while simultaneously defending the need to protect Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental health programs for the nation's elderly, poor and disabled.

A versatile and influential advocate for many of the prominent themes of mainstream conservatism, Johns also has held high-level posts in American government and public policy. His writings on American foreign policy in the 1980s helped shape and promote the foreign policy of the Reagan administration. He was one of the original advocates of the so-called "Reagan Doctrine," successfully urging the United States to support forces opposing Soviet client states and one of the first Reagan Doctrine advocates to actually visit the front lines of these hot spots (Angola, Cambodia, Nicaragua, and the former Soviet Republics) with regularity. Johns also was a close advisor to Angola's Jonas Savimbi, whose Cold War conflict with Soviet-aligned Angola became a central Cold War sub-plot.

He is credited with helping shift Washington's intellectual tide away from containment of the Soviet Union (as advocated by post-war American leaders, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman) and toward a more aggressive approach dedicated to the "rollback" of global communism. Many historians now credit this latter approach with leading, ultimately, to the collapse of the former Soviet Union, though others say the Soviet Union collapsed as a result of its own internal flaws.

Johns also was one the most vocal U.S. conservatives in defending Ronald Reagan's controversial description of the former Soviet Union as an "evil empire." In a lengthy Policy Review article, "Seventy Years of Evil: Soviet Crimes from Lenin to Gorbachev," for instance, Johns labeled the Soviet system "history's most sophisticated apparatus of rule by terror" and lambasted its "crushing of the human spirit." He offered 208 examples, dating back to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, that, he argued, warranted the labeling of the Soviet system as "evil."[2]

Following the Cold War's end, Johns helped advance pro-active American engagement in the post-Cold War world, running U.S. government-funded international economic and political development projects in post-war Kuwait, Turkey and other nations.

In the 1990s, he also was a prominent critic of several components of the Clinton administration's foreign policy. As the United Nations, with support from the Clinton administration, began repatriating Thailand-based Hmong veterans from Vietnam's "Secret War" to Laos, Johns was one of several influential opponents of the policy, labeling it a "betrayal" [3]. Johns' position on the issue drew support, and the U.N. repatriation ultimately was haulted. Tens of thousands of Hmong refugees at Wat Tham Krabok and various Thailand refugee camps subsequently were afforded expedited United States immigration rights.

Johns has been a leading national voice while at the conservative Heritage Foundation and has worked closely with leading figures on the American right. But he also has been tapped by moderate Republicans, including former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean, U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe and President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush (for whom he served as a White House speechwriter) to help advance Republican policies. In the first Bush White House, he helped define and advocate some of the policies that have come to be known as "compassionate conservatism," focusing on outreach to low and middle-income Americans and non-traditional Republican constituencies.


  • Vice president, Gentiva Health Services (Nasdaq: GTIV) [4], Melville, New York.
  • Senior associate, health care practice, S. R. Wojdak & Associates, Philadelphia.
  • Manager, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), [5], Indianapolis.
  • Director of research, International Republican Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • White House speechwriter to President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush.
  • Special assistant to former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean.
  • Policy analyst, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Assistant editor, Policy Review magazine, Washington, D.C.
  • Author of U.S. and Africa Statistical Handbook (The Heritage Foundation, 1990; second ed., 1991).
  • Contributing author of Finding Our Roots, Facing Our Future: America in the 21st Century (Madison Books, 1997); and Freedom in the World: The Annual Guide of Political Rights and Civil Liberties (Freedom House, 1993).
  • He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, National Review, Freedom House's Freedom Review and other publications.
  • National television appearances include PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, CNBC, PBS's Nightly Business Report, C-SPAN, Fox Morning News and others.
  • Inducted into University of Miami's prestigious Iron Arrow Honor Society [6], 1984.

For Michael Johns quotes, see: Michael Johns.

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