Office of the Mayor
Purpose, Passion and People are the core principles that guide and drive the life of the Honorable Van R. Johnson, II, the 67th Mayor of the City of Savannah, GA.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but with strong Savannah roots, Mayor Johnson is a graduate of the New York City Public School System and has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Savannah State University and Georgia Southern University.
As a former radio talk show host, political commentator and former author of local weekly columns, Mayor Johnson has distinguished himself as an independent, thoughtful and passionate voice on current events.
As a nationally certified professional in Human Resources and a Georgia-certified Law Enforcement professional, Mayor Johnson has utilized his unique skillset as a sought after trainer, speaker and consultant in these areas. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia.
In 2004, Mayor Johnson was elected as the Savannah City Council’s Alderman for the First District. He was re-elected to 3 subsequent terms by the citizens of the District averaging more than 75 percent of the total vote. During his tenure as an Alderman, Mayor Johnson served as Mayor Pro Tem and Vice Chairman of Council. He consistently used this sacred platform to advocate on behalf of the least, the last and the lost; and to promote inclusion and equity for all of Savannah’s citizens.
Mayor Johnson also demonstrated leadership nationally as only the fourth elected official from Savannah to serve on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities. He also recently served as Chair of the Advisory Board of the National League of Cities, becoming the first Savannahian to hold such an office.
Mayor Johnson is nationally recognized as an innovator and thought leader in youth development and engagement through his service of over 23 years as the Director of the Chatham County Youth Commission. Since that time, he has assisted cities and counties across the country in developing governmental youth leadership programs, including co-founding the Savannah Youth Council in 2004.
This dedication to children, youth and families has also been displayed in our local community. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, past Board Chair of the Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services in addition to numerous local non-profit organizations. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, along with numerous other social and civic organizations.
Mayor Johnson’s leadership and humanitarian efforts have been recognized with numerous awards, honors and distinctions.