Joanna Mikulski


Joanna Mikulski is an entrepreneur, writer, and CEO of Assemblyfor, a strategy and design firm dedicated to making social change.

Joanna has deep experience in the design and implementation of evidence-informed and innovative solutions to social problems, and behavior change communications. She led WithoutViolence, a 2-year pilot initiative to help violence prevention practitioners at international organizations, social entrepreneurs from the U.S. and East Africa, and youth advocates from Latin America use behavioral insights and solutions-focused framing to develop more powerful communications. At the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 2009 to 2013, Joanna worked with senior officials to embed evidence-informed policy and decision making throughout education and employment programs. These included a $500 million community college program and a $150 million workforce innovation fund.

She’s inspired by how open technology and participatory decision making are fostering more responsive government, more effective philanthropy, and more resilient civil society. At OMB, she spearheaded the development of a successful cross-agency legislative proposal for performance partnership pilots. These innovative pilots give local organizations more flexibility in how they use federal funding to serve the most vulnerable youth in exchange for greater accountability for outcomes. In 2014, she wrote in Next City about how open mapping initiatives are helping community activists and local officials partner to make cities safer and more livable. Her writing on the importance of bridging the gaps between issues and sectors has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Joanna found her passion for data analysis and economics while getting a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, but before that, she studied English literature and German at the University of Notre Dame. She loves stories, and is always excited to get tips for a good novel. An avid soccer player, runner and hiker, she spent a year teaching English in Austria and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Southeast Asia.