A middle-aged man with buzzed black hair smirking, wearing a black blazer with a white dress shirt with a blue grid pattern unbuttoned at the collar.

Sanford Johnson

Job Title
Deputy Director of Advocacy
Mississippi First
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 
Greater Delta: Mississippi & Arkansas
Peter Jennings Award

Sanford Johnson is a Starkville, Mississippi native and 2003 TFA alum from the Mississippi Delta. As a corps member, Sanford taught in Clarksdale, MS and Helena, AR. After co-founding Mississippi First in 2008 with Rachel Canter, a fellow Starkville native and TFA Delta alum, Sanford has primarily worked on the organization’s advocacy and outreach efforts. He has coordinated the school district advocacy strategy for the Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens (CHART) Sex Ed Initiative. He served as a reviewer for the MS Department of Education’s School improvement grants and has trained teachers with the MS State Department of Health for over 3 years. He is currently organizing teachers in support of Mississippi’s College and Career-ready Standards, and he will continue MSF’s campus outreach with young adults and college students throughout the state. 

Along with his work with Mississippi First, Sanford is also a member of the Mississippi Advisory Council to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. Sanford holds degrees from Auburn University and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. He lives in Clarksdale with his wife, Amanda, and their daughters Lorelei and Ava.