Tiffany Hamel Johnson

Tiffany Hamel Johnson is the President and CEO of Chicago United.

She is responsible for leading Chicago United’s mission, vision, and overarching strategy to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within Chicago’s business community, making Chicago the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation.

Hamel Johnson's diverse career spans nearly 30 years, with experience in private, public and nonprofit sectors. Her first job was in the advertising and marketing field, but she later transitioned to industrial and economic development, where she worked for Mesirow Stein Real Estate, Illinois Industrial Properties and Granite Development with roles ranging from Development Analyst to Executive Vice President, Sales and Leasing.

Hamel Johnson took the helm of Chicago United in April of 2020, and is the first African-American woman to lead the 55-year-old corporate membership organization. She joined Chicago United from World Business Chicago, where she was second-in-command as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Administration. Prior to this role, Hamel Johnson worked for the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel where she served as assistant to the Mayor and Deputy Chief Neighborhood Development Officer.

During her first stint at World Business Chicago, Hamel Johnson served as the Director of Business Development, with a focus on attracting Fortune 500 companies to establish their headquarters in Chicago. Notably, she played a pivotal role as the project manager for the successful effort to bring The Boeing Company's corporate headquarters to the city.

Additionally, Hamel Johnson worked at Chicago Urban League where she served as Chief of Staff to the CEO and Senior Vice President, Strategy and Community Development.

“I’ve been one of the only, and then I’ve been one of the many,” she says of her experience at diverse and not-so-diverse organizations. “That view helps me to succeed. I’m used to working with many voices."

Hamel Johnson contributes civically by serving on the boards of YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Francis W. Parker School, and the Advisory Committee for IMPACT Leadership Development Program and Chairs the Governance Committee for Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF).

Additionally, through her professional contributions, Hamel Johnson is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, a Leadership Greater Chicago 2024 Burnham Fellow, and was named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ 2024 Who’s Who.

A proud native Chicagoan and graduate of Lincoln Park High School, a Chicago Public School, Hamel Johnson completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Spanish and minoring in Communications. She resides in the Lakeview neighborhood with her husband and son.