D.C. United hires Danita Johnson as MLS's first Black president

Danita Johnson became the first Black president and just the third woman to hold the role in MLS history when she was appointed as D.C. United's president of business operations.

She comes to D.C. United from the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, where she was president and chief operating officer the last two year.

"After conducting a thorough search process, we are confident that Danita Johnson is the right person to lead our business and help take our club to new heights,” Jason Levien, co-chairman and CEO of D.C. United, said in a statement. “Throughout her career, Danita has demonstrated the ability to develop a positive and inspiring work culture, and she has done a tremendous job connecting with the communities in which she has lived and worked. We are thrilled that she has agreed to join us at this critical moment in D.C. United's trajectory.”

Johnson, who will join D.C. United in January, has spent 15 years with basketball teams, including the  WNBA's Washington Mystics.

"I’ve learned a lot from my time with the WNBA, especially the Los Angeles Sparks organization," Johnson said. "It is my belief that establishing a winning culture off the field impacts every aspect of the business, from fan interactions to community engagement, and I am committed to doing just this for one of the most storied and decorated clubs in American soccer history."
6 comments about "D.C. United hires Danita Johnson as MLS's first Black president".
  1. R2 Dad, December 23, 2020 at 11:29 a.m.

    Checks all the boxes except knows nothing about soccer. Well, Don Garber was in a similar situation, but it took him 20 years of learning on the job and he still has NFL biases.

  2. frank schoon replied, December 23, 2020 at 12:44 p.m.

    R2 , it's all about DIVERSITY...NOT QUALITY

  3. beautiful game, December 23, 2020 at 1:26 p.m.

    Welcome to the anti-feminism club amigos. You two guys don't know anything about Johnson and already the beat-down starts. Johnson was chosen to be President of Operarions; and not a member of DCU coaching staff. Seems that you all can't tell the difference except that she's a female.

  4. Sharon Anderon replied, December 23, 2020 at 1:31 p.m.


    I am happy to see this for the front office operations. My only question is whether basketball translates to soccer as a business model. I've watched a local club of mine bring in front office staff from a local pro basketball team, and some of the staff find that the fun has disappeared. Soccer has always been about joyful experiences whether it's the front office or the squad. We shall see if the basketball mentality fits soccer.

  5. frank schoon replied, December 23, 2020 at 2:10 p.m.

    BG, I'm sure in the board room that topic never came up for discussion<sarc>. Diversity does not imply being 'anti' something for that  implies a narrow-minded interpretation at the subject at hand, like not supporting illegal immigration doesn't mean one is anti-immigrant.

     I prefer choice based solely on merit and  like R2, I prefer someone whose has tasted, experienced and is familiar with the subculture of soccer to work in the front office of soccer...

  6. R2 Dad replied, December 25, 2020 at 2:53 a.m.

    Hmmm. Ask yourself if this would still be the case had Johnson been accepted for a job as head of operations for the USWNT. Do I hate women or inexperience? With so many viable candidates, what are the risks involved in learning on the job vs been-there-done-that? Bad things happen to good programs that lose sight of excellence.

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