Harry E. Johnson Sr. was appointed to the AARP Foundation's board of directors in 2012. For the past decade, Johnson has been president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation, charged by Congress and the president to raise $100 million for the National Memorial on the Mall in Washington to honor King's life and legacy. Johnson raised $120 million for the memorial, which opened to the public in 2011. Among his awards and honors, Johnson received the Trumpet Foundation's President's Award in 2011. He was chairman of the Houston African American Museum board from 2006 to 2009 and named one of the 100 most influential black Americans by Ebony magazine for four years in a row.
Since 1993, Johnson has been a partner in the law office of Glenn and Jackson in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate law, federal criminal defense and personal injury. For four years, from 2001 to 2004, he was the national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, overseeing more than 700 chapters in the United States and abroad. Earlier, Johnson was the city attorney of Kendelton, Texas, an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University's School of Public Affairs and an attorney with Carver, Henry and Associates in Houston. He received his J.D. from Texas Southern University in 1986, a postbaccalaureate in public administration from St. Louis University in 1982 and a B.A. in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1977.