Peter R. Johnson, Deputy Director
Peter Johnson serves as the Deputy Director of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. The Conference unites eight U.S. Governors and two Canadian Premiers working together to grow the region’s $6 trillion economy and protect its world-class environment.
Peter helped facilitate the negotiation and served as primary draftsman of the “Great Lakes Compact” and the companion cross-border Agreement--historic agreements and legislation that allow the eight U.S. Great Lakes States, Ontario and Québec to cooperatively manage water use in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin. Peter was instrumental in implementing the accords into law, providing testimony, presentations and expert counsel to State, Provincial and Federal legislators, and stakeholders. He now serves as the Secretary to the Governors’ Compact Council.
Peter helps coordinate the Governors’ broader regional efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. He was recognized for his leadership in fostering partnerships with the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Award from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 2012. Separately, Peter helps lead the Council’s economic development program including its maritime initiative which promotes the region’s ports and shipping industry; its tourism initiative which promotes the region to international visitors; and its international trade program which includes thirteen shared trade offices around the world.
Peter formerly practiced commercial litigation with the law firm of Bischoff, Maurides & Swabowski, Ltd. He appeared frequently in both Federal and State courts throughout the Chicago metropolitan region on a wide variety of issues ranging from industrial pollution to antitrust defense. Peter also taught law and business at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies located in Canton, China. He also worked at Trudy Nichol and Associates, a grassroots and fundraising consulting firm. In addition, Peter has served as a campaign worker on two U.S. Senate races in Illinois.
He has a B.A. in Political Science from North Park University, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and has been a member of the Illinois Bar since 1991. He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources.