Alumni Changemakers: Patrick Johnson

Alumni Changemakers: Patrick Johnson

Committed to Strategically Addressing Financial Inequity 

To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Alumnus Patrick Johnson completed the Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University in 2014. 

Patrick Johnson embodies the values of transparency, empowerment, and leadership. Patrick Johnson graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BBA in International Business with a focus on Economic Development from Howard University. During this time, he studied abroad at the Richmond, The American International University in London, attended the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and attended the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. He also found time to intern and act as a student energy ambassador with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Upon graduating, he made a pivot to get more experience in finance. He began working for Synchrony, one of the largest issuers of store credit cards, where he held a number of positions. He joined their Business Leadership Program, a 2-year accelerated leadership development program consisting of three, eight-month rotations within finance. In the finance track, he immersed himself in banking and finance by combining job assignments, coursework, and interactive seminars to help young leaders develop. In the program, his roles were: Pricing and Business Development associate, HQ Financial Planning and Analysis associate, and General and Closing Accounting associate. In each of these positions, he learned and applied skills of financial analysis, modeling, and leadership. After the program, he went on to become an Assistant Vice President for IT Financial Planning and Analysis. Here he not only provided financial management and support to the CIO’s IT strategic initiatives, but he also took responsibility for and ownership of all leadership reporting processes. His efforts earned him the prestigious Synchrony Financial CFO award.

Recognizing a “huge disparity in the financial knowledge and understanding of his minority peers versus his non-minority peers”, Patrick founded The New Balance with the goal of improving people’s financial security and understanding. Many of the skills he learned in his aforementioned roles were transferable to help improve people’s understanding in budgeting, financial planning, saving, credit & loans, and other personal finance topics. His non-profit takes the approach of partnering with the community organizations that have established unique communities already, and The New Balance shares knowledge that helps those individuals improve their financial security, build wealth, and realize dreams.

“The combination of rigorous graduate-level coursework, interactive seminars, and networking at PPIA Princeton in 2014 really helped enable my success post-graduation and solidify how I wanted to make a difference in this world. PPIA enhanced my analytical thinking, communication & writing skills, and knowledge of the real-world applications of public service. I used those PPIA experiences to help me thrive throughout my career in banking.

Ultimately, those skills I’ve learned in my career allowed me to then impart knowledge on budgeting, expense management, saving, credit, and other fundamental personal finance topics with the minority-serving community organizations in which I partner through my non-profit The New Balance, Inc. I see PPIA as having been integral in giving me the building blocks and confidence necessary to help the communities I serve.”

At the same time that he founded The New Balance, he began working for Citi as their Assistant Vice President of U.S. Cards Financial Planning & Analysis, went on to work as a Vice President of Consumer Bank Strategic Initiatives in finance, and finished his stint at Citi as a Vice President of Global Consumer Bank Partnerships and Business Development. Simultaneously, he was also an NYC Board Member at PowerMyLearning, which advances educational equity nationwide with technology through the collaboration of teachers, students, and families.

Currently, Patrick is the Senior Manager for Membership Rewards (MR) Strategy & Experience at American Express where he leads strategic initiatives including developing the long-term MR strategy and the MR components of credit card refreshes. Patrick Johnson is strategically applying both his leadership and skill set in ways that empower organizations and individuals. By bringing understanding and clarity to goals and commitments, he is inspiring responsibility and cultivating potential.

Thank you, Patrick, for your dedication to the financial well-being of others. By laying solid foundations built on knowledge and data, you are ensuring security and expanding possibilities for those whose lives you touch.

Read more Changemaker profiles here!