Skip to content

Kresge brings on new officers on Education, Communications teams

Education, General Foundation News

Ashley Johnson, Ph.D., joined The Kresge Foundation as an Education team program officer this month, and the foundation’s External Affairs & Communications team welcomed Tracey Pearson to its ranks as a communications officer.

Johnson joins the foundation after a distinguished run as the founding executive director of the Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), an organization that provides critical college access and success programming in the city of Detroit. In her role, Johnson also helmed The Detroit Promise, the city’s place-based tuition program for high school students to receive free tuition at participating universities.

“We could not be more thrilled and humbled to have Dr. Ashley Johnson join the Kresge team,” said Bill Moses, managing director, Kresge Education Program. “Ashley is deeply respected across the college access sector for her successful work to build DCAN from its beginnings to what it is today, a national leader in the college access movement. She’ll bring a level of hands-on expertise and her personal drive as a first-generation college student to this role as a program officer. We hope you’ll join us in welcoming her.”

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology and a Master of Education from the University of Mississippi and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University. She previously worked in the University of Michigan Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and at Excellent Schools Detroit.

“As a first-generation college student, my work at Detroit College Access Network was near and dear to my heart,” Johnson said. “But joining the Kresge team and having the opportunity to work on these issues at a national and even international scale, was one I couldn’t pass up. I hope to bring my relentless passion for students to my role and look forward to partnering with Kresge’s national and place-based programs across the foundation and with its many grant partners.”

Adding to the depth of the foundation’s External Affairs & Communications team, Tracey Pearson will work primarily with the Kresge’s American Cities and Education programs. Prior to joining the foundation, she was responsible for leading media strategy and PR planning for the City of Detroit as the deputy media relations director. In this role, she oversaw the daily media relations tied to issues of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration, crisis management and various priority initiatives across city departments. Pearson earned a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Wayne State University and a Master of Science in integrated marketing communications from Eastern Michigan University.

“I’ve seen first-hand the foundation’s commitment to positive and measurable outcomes tackling some of society’s toughest issues,” said Pearson. “I’m looking forward to using my experience to help tell the amazing stories that result from these important programs.”