Johna Ohtagaki is a senior director at BGA, where she advises clients on the development of strategies, stakeholder management and economic and geopolitical issues affecting regional markets. Johna is also an adjunct staff member at RAND Corporation focused on China and other Asia-Pacific security issues.
Johna advised secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton on Asia-Pacific diplomatic, security and economic strategies as a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. She also worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as senior advisor to the assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, acting as point person on the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, the South China Sea, and engaging external partners (Europe, the Americas and others) in Asia.
During her tenure at the State Department, she also served as special assistant to the Special Representative for North Korea Policy, desk officer in the Office of Korean Affairs in the Bureau for East Asia and Pacific Affairs and as an attorney in Passport Services in the Office of Legal Affairs.
From 2007-2008, Johna worked in the Counsel’s Office of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. A former entrepreneur, Johna founded LTL Educational Services in San Francisco, California, in 1998.
Johna has a B.A. in international relations from George Washington University, Mt. Vernon Campus, and a J.D. from George Mason School of Law, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Economics and Policy. She is a Council of Foreign Relations Term Member, a Truman Security Fellow and a member of the Maryland bar.