An urban strategist, Patricia has worked with real estate developers, architects, politicians, and senior city staff to expose them to global best practices in urban sustainability. She has lead over 30 professional research missions to cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. She has served as managing partner on research and communication projects for both the public and private sectors. Through both professional research missions and a variety of communication projects, she has facilitated the public and private sector coming together in a shared vision.
As a recognition of her work with i-SUSTAIN, Patricia was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in 2007 “for creating a uniquely effective program to educate and inspire political and business leaders through international models of sustainable design and development.
At the request of the Mayor of Seattle, Greg Nickels, she was a member of the 2008 Mayor’s Green Building Task Force, which provided guidance on appropriate policy mechanisms that would reduce the energy use of new and existing buildings by 20%. As a result of the task force, changes in law regarding building energy disclosure requirements have been enacted in Seattle and have spread to other US cities.
Patricia has served as a Board Member of the Cascade Bicycle Club, the largest bicycling organization in the US. In 2010, she was made a Fellow with the World Affairs Council, and she currently is on the board of Great Cities, an urban advocacy group. She co-founded two non-profit organizations, the International Sustainability Institute (ISI) and KidzMusic, a music education site for school age children, both 501 C-3 organizations.
She is co-authoring a book entitled, “Visions of Urban Sustainability” with University of Washington professor Nancy Rivenburgh.
Patricia has always been an entrepreneur. Prior to i-SUSTAIN, from 1987 to 2001, she owned and operated Chase Bobko, a leader in the content management field. The firm had up to 200 employees at any one time, and worked for major corporations such as Microsoft, Boeing and Motorola along with many leading dot.coms. Chase Bobko was honored by the Washington State Software Association for creating and funding “Kids on the Web,” a program in the late 1990s in which Chase Bobko staff taught under-resourced teens web development skills.
Virginia H. Johnson, Vice-President and Counsel, brings to i-SUSTAIN nearly 30 years of experience in the private sector, the nonprofit community, politics and senior levels of federal government service. Virginia worked as counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives over the course of eight years, including service as Counsel to the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Ethics Committee where she was nonpartisan Investigative Counsel prior to her promotion to Counsel to the Chairman.
In 2004, she was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in her native North Carolina where she won the primary election. She was subsequently appointed as Executive Director of the American Red Cross National Headquarters and served in that capacity during the organization’s historic response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2006, Virginia was appointed by the Bush Administration to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for House Legislative Affairs where she had primary responsibility for communications between majority and minority congressional Members and leadership staff at the U.S. House of Representatives and the offices of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. She was retained by the Obama Administration to assist with the President’s transition for several months in 2009 and was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Thereafter, Virginia was selected to serve from 2009 to 2012 in a senior nonpartisan position overseeing legislative affairs at the Defense Security Service, the agency within the U.S. Department of Defense that has oversight of the defense industrial base. She created and supervised a robust legislative affairs office and strategic congressional communications for the agency and served as the agency’s primary liaison with the U.S. House and Senate, the Pentagon’s legislative affairs components, and other federal agencies.
In 2012, Virginia returned to Congress to serve as Chief of Staff for a freshman Member where she played an integral role in reorganizing his staff, his communications operations and his strategic outreach, all of which contributed to his successful reelection in a nationally targeted race. In addition to her public service, Virginia was in the private practice of law in Washington, D.C., for ten years and was on the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and the University of San Diego. Virginia graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Russian and French. She spent a semester in the former Soviet Union at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow and attended the Summer Russian Language School at Middlebury College. She received a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.